How Well Do You Know Your Fictional Characters?

Here’s the thing. You can’t write a good fictional story without knowing the basic facts about your characters. If you don’t know, how can you expect your readers to know? I love reading fiction and if I really love the main characters I want to know all I can about them because it makes the characters come to life. And that’s exactly what you want to do.

Here are the questions you need to find out about your fictional characters

  • Their Parents?

Most fictional characters have parents even if your characters were adopted. It’s important not to forget they exist no matter how much you want to keep your attention on the main characters.


If one of your main characters doesn’t have parents make this known in your story. It’s all about making your characters come off as real as possible.


In fiction, the tiniest thing can take readers out of the fantasy


  • Their Childhood?

We all remember our childhood whether if it was good, bad or indifferent. Your characters have a childhood too and some psychologists believe that your childhood has a big effect on your adult life.

So where does that leave your fictional characters’ childhood? It leaves their childhood a part of the story because it’s who they are and how they came to be.

  • Friends?

Is your character the friendly type or the lonely secluded type? Do they have friends and if so how many friends do they have and how do they click or get along?

If your characters don’t have any friends it says something about their personality. Is it because they are shy or because they’re too standoffish?

  • Enemies?

Who hates your character and who does your character hate? It’s not realistic to think that everyone will get along with your fictional character because it doesn’t happen in real life.

People are just too different from one another to always get along. So having an enemy for your protagonist will help bring conflict to the story.

  • Acquaintances?

Acquaintances may not seem as important but they are the characters that have the potential to become your protagonist’s friend or foe.  They can be the hidden messengers that gives your characters needed information, a spy, a weird neighbor that your protagonist decides to investigate about or a suspect in your murder mystery.

You can use their acquaintances anyway you want to because it’s a neutral character instead of a concrete enemy or friend.

  • Where Are They From?

Share your character’s hometown. Where your characters are from can say a lot about them. If they are from a different part of the world they may have accents, dress differently, and take part in a different culture.

This all adds information about your character.

  • Their Likes/Dislikes?

This is more for general information like allergies, favorites, pet peeves, etc.

  • Their Fear/Goal?

Even superman had his weakness so what’s your characters’? What do they fear the most and how do they deal with it?

Also, what do they want more than anything? What is their goal in the story and in their personal life? In other words, what the heck do they want?

  • What/Who Do They Love?

Everyone loves something or someone whether it’s money, a girl, their parents. What/ who they love may be the driving force of the story if they lose the one thing or person they love and can start a quest to get them back.

Having a character passionate about something makes them a more 3D Character and pulls your readers more into the story.


All of these questions should be answers but they do not have to be answered in back to back details in the beginning of the story. That will be a summary and bore your audience quicker than day time television.

Instead, spread this information throughout the story so readers can learn as they read.

Also, you can show this information through scenes than simply telling it. For example, if your character hates spaghetti you can show him trying it and spitting out.  Or have him dared to eat it and show your character being reluctant.

Try and experiment. If there is anything you think is needed in the list be sure to share it in the comments.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe.

Good luck on your writing journey,


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About the Author

Shaquanda Dalton

Hello, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and welcome to! I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graudated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Creative Writing. I fell in love with writing at the age nine and love it till this day. :)