Home Character Survey Hey there! Thanks for stopping by to read the character questionnaire!  There's an enhanced version of the survey coming out soon, and I'd like to send you a free copy.  To receive it, I'm asking a limited number of visitors to complete a ONE question survey. Click here to take the survey,(it will open in a new window) and I'll email you a free copy of the new, enhanced survey when it's ready. Note: It needs to be a credible answer (not just random text) to qualify for the free copy of the enhanced character questionnaire.

Character Survey

The origins of this list have been referred to as "The Mother of All Character Questionnaires."

This comprehensive inventory of thought-starting questions is useful for building your own character questionnaire. The survey has been used by actors, role-players, reenactors (both revolutionary and medieval) and writers to provide fuel for the creative process of inventing a whole persona.  Fictional characters need a level of depth sufficient to be complex and believable. In today's world, the nuances of personality and interplay must reflect the depth of interaction found in real life.  Whether your characters are human or not, your readers most certainly are!

Character survey questions cover different genres and types of details, so feel free to exclude or modify to suit your specific needs. The questions are divided into broad categories, and similar questions are grouped together. For brevity, assume that just about any of the questions can be expanded with a simple "Why", "How", and so on.

To provide full credit it where it is do, you should know that this list was originally adapted and expanded from a tool in Johnn Four's newsletter over at RolePlayingTips.com.

To read the questions for each section of the survey, click the read more link.

Coming Soon - Enhanced Character Survey

20130816_141017Since it's inception, the character survey has served over one hundred thousand visitors in developing fictional characters for novels, screenplays, role-playing games, revolutionary war reenactments, medieval reenactments, and more.  Like you, dear reader, these visitors were looking for a jumping-off point to develop a unique and memorable persona.

To move the survey forward, to deepen it, to make it stronger, I'm working on a new and enhanced version of the survey.  The best thing about the character survey is that it is a very simple, yet profound, tool for really getting inside the essence of a person.

If you'd like a FREE copy of the enhanced character survey, answer the ONE question on this survey (here's the link), and I'll send it to you electronically when it's ready!  No other obligations.  If you'd prefer to wait, the enhanced survey will be available for purchase later.  Seriously, though, it's one question!

Either way, thanks for stopping by!


Introductory Questions

The basic questions - just enough for a quick character sketch.

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Physical Traits

Physical traits are more than external appearances; they're also resistance to illness and general health.

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Historical Questions

Historical questions involve both your personal history and the world around (and before) you.  They're a great way to consider what the world was like before your arrival, and how they have shaped you.

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Family Relationships

Family (or its absence) has a profound impact on what shapes us.  This series of questions explores both immediate, extended, and adopted/surrogate family ideas, and how they might impact your persona.

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Personal Relationships

Association with others defines us in many ways.  This set of questions focuses on your relationship with those around you, both friend and foe.

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Personality and Beliefs

Over 100 questions on who you are and how your beliefs were formed.  This is a long section of the survey and it gets into deep territory. It is most suitable for a main role, but is quite probably overkill for secondary personas and extras.

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Career / Training Questions

A series of thought-provoking questions around how your character / persona might have made (or is making) a living.

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Hobbies and General Lifestyle

We can't be 'on' all the time.  Whether it's the brusque sailor crafting ornate scrimshaw or the maiden practicing the art of knife-throwing, each person has (or needs) some form of small escape from the day-to-day. This series of questions, while brief, provides a different perspective, allowing you to explore the details that make a unique and well-rounded persona.

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Many characters in dramatic works spend time traveling, sometimes great distances, sometimes not so great.  While the camera is focused on you, what is left behind? This short series of questions asks how well you travel, and some other intriguing details that make a persona more real.

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