Hot seat questions: Creating a believable character

Creating a believable character.

Students fill in the top worksheet, then ask each other the questions below in groups in character.

Character Profile Worksheet

Basic Statistics

Socioeconomic Level as a child:
Socioeconomic Level as an adult:
Current Residence:
Birth order:
Siblings (describe relationship):
Spouse (describe relationship):
Children (describe relationship):
Grandparents (describe relationship):
Grandchildren (describe relationship):
Significant Others (describe relationship):
Relationship skills:

Physical Characteristics:
Eye Color:
Hair Color:
Glasses or contact lenses?
Skin color:
Shape of Face:
Distinguishing features:
How does he/she dress?
Habits: (smoking, drinking etc.)
Favorite Sayings:
Speech patterns:
Style (Elegant, shabby etc.):
Greatest flaw:
Best quality:

Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes 
Introvert or Extrovert?
How does the character deal with anger?
With sadness?
With conflict?
With change?
With loss?
What does the character want out of life?
What would the character like to change in his/her life?
What motivates this character?
What frightens this character?
What makes this character happy?
Is the character judgmental of others?
Is the character generous or stingy?
Is the character generally polite or rude?

Does the character believe in God?
What are the character’s spiritual beliefs?
Is religion or spirituality a part of this character’s life?
If so, what role does it play?





Accessories: (What non-clothing items does your character wear? Bracelets? Necklaces? Toe rings?)
Dress Style/Wardrobe: (How does your character commonly dress? Elegantly? Gothic? Mismatched?)
Equipment: (What equipment does your character carry with them? A gourd? A toolbox? A bag of hair?)
Most Prized Possession: (What item does your character have that holds the most personal value?)
Most Valuable Possession: What item does your character have that holds the most monetary value?)
Trinkets: (What items does your character carry that they aren’t just for looks, but for more important reasons, such as the ability to use their power?)

Social Characteristics
Communication: (How does your character communicate with other people?)
Criminal Record: (What has your character done to break the law? Arson? Murder? Jaywalking?)
Discriminations: (What kind of stuff or people does your character discriminate against? Blacks? Aliens? Broccoli?)
Dominance: (How firmly does your character stand their ground over others? Extra firm? Submissively? Iron-fistedly?)
Ego: (How downright amazing does your character think they are? Ridiculously centric? In the wrong place? Superfluous?)
Emotional Stability: (How much emotional inflictions can your character take before they break? Lots? None at all? Negative amounts?)
Expression: (How does your character express themself? Through the clothes? By just saying it? By the pattern in which they play the harmonica?)
Humor: (What does your character think is funny? Blond jokes? Death? Farting?)
Liveliness: (How energetic is your character? Do they literally bounce off the walls? Do they do only what they have to do? Do they literally sleep for entire days?(
Mannerisms: (How does your character commonly act? Rude? Well-mannered? Creepy?)
Patience: (How long can your character wait for something or endure something that is annoying or stressful? Very patient? Impatient? Passive?)
Reputation: (How is your character viewed by their peers? Are they held in high esteem? Do they think he’s pure stupid? Do they think he’s an alien?)
Sociability: (How much does your character like to interact with other people? Is he super social? Is he a loner? Does he only like being around people who take a liking to the research behind the flight pattern of the sparrow?)
Status: (What is their social status? Quiet? Popular? Dead?)
Style: (How does your character act and dress? Gothic? Emo? Spocky?)

Compliments: (What kinds of things does your character say as a compliment? “I like your hair”? “I think you are super smart”? “My nipples are exploding with delight”?)
Insults: (What kind of things might your character say as an insult? “You are stupid and ugly and no one likes you”? “You wreak of the worst stench I have ever smelt”? “I once dreamt of a man so ugly that he had to hide from himself in the mirror, but you are uglier still”?)
Emotional Status: (What emotional state is your character most likely to be found in? Happy? Depressed? Lackadaisical?)
Expletives: (What words does your character use to express their anger? Swear words? Flan-diddily-anders speech? Obscure words?)
Mood: (What mood is your character most likely to be found in? Angry? Thoughtful? Speechless?)
State of Mind: (What state of mind is your character most likely to be found in? Surprise? Confusion? Constant denial?
Words: (What kinds of words does your character use in everyday speech? “Dude”? “dattebayo”? “Like a fox”?)
Farewells: (How does your character say goodbye to people? “Sayonara”? Waving? Lifting their shirt at them?)
Greetings: (How does your character commonly greet people? “Hello”? Handshake? Slap them in the face?)






What do you consider your greatest achievement?

• What is your idea of perfect happiness?

• What is your current state of mind?

• What is your favorite occupation?

• What is your most treasured possession?

• What or who is the greatest love of your life?

• What is your favorite journey?

• What is your most marked characteristic?

• When and where were you the happiest?

• What is it that you most dislike?

• What is your greatest fear?

• What is your greatest extravagance?

• Which living person do you most despise?

• What is your greatest regret?

• Which talent would you most like to have?

• Where would you like to live?

• What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

• What is the quality you most like in a man?

• What is the quality you most like in a woman?

• What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

• What is the trait you most deplore in others?

• What do you most value in your friends?

• Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

• Whose are your heroes in real life?

• Which living person do you most admire?

• On what occasions do you lie?

• Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

• What are your favorite names?

• How would you like to die?

• If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

• What is your character’s hair color? Eye color?

• What kind of distinguishing facial features does your character have?

• Does your character have a birthmark? Where is it? What about scars? How did he get them?

• Who are your character’s friends and family? Who does she surround herself with? Who are the people your character is closest to? Who does he wish he were closest to?

• Where was your character born? Where has she lived since then? Where does she call home?

• Where does your character go when he’s angry?

• What is her biggest fear? Who has she told this to? Who would she never tell this to? Why?

• Does she have a secret?

• What makes your character laugh out loud?

• When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?

Then dig deeper by asking more unconventional questions:

• What is in your character’s refrigerator right now? On her bedroom floor? On her nightstand? In her garbage can?

• Look at your character’s feet. Describe what you see there. Does he wear dress shoes, gym shoes, or none at all? Is he in socks that are ratty and full of holes? Or is he wearing a pair of blue and gold slippers knitted by his grandmother?

• When your character thinks of her childhood kitchen, what smell does she associate with it? Sauerkraut? Oatmeal cookies? Paint? Why is that smell so resonant for her?

• Your character is doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for her to throw out? What is difficult for her to part with? Why?

• It’s Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details. If he’s eating breakfast, what exactly does he eat? If she’s stretching out in her backyard to sun, what kind of blanket or towel does she lie on?

• What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

• Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where is she going? What does she wear? Who will she be with?


Hot Seat questions

Mandatory Questions


1. What about you is heroic?
2. What about you is social? What do you like about people?
3. Of what benefit could you be to the current group?
4. Why would you choose to join the current group?
5. Invent an adventure/plot that your character would actively undertake (as opposed to just tagging along)?


Personal Questions


1. What is your real, birth name? What name do you use?
2. Do you have a nickname? What is it, and where did you get it?
3. What do you look like? (Include height, weight, hair, eyes, skin, apparent age, and distinguishing features)
4. How do you dress most of the time?
5. How do you “dress up?”
6. How do you “dress down?”
7. What do you wear when you go to sleep?
8. Do you wear any jewelry?
9. In your opinion, what is your best feature?
10. What’s your real birth date?
11. Where do you live? Describe it: Is it messy, neat, avant-garde, sparse, etc.?
12. Do you own a car? Describe it.
13. What is your most prized mundane possession? Why do you value it so much?
14. What one word best describes you?


Familial Questions


1. What was your family like?
2. Who was your father, and what was he like?
3. Who was your mother, and what was she like?
4. What was your parents marriage like? Were they married? Did they remain married?
5. What were your siblings names? What were they like?
6. What’s the worst thing one of your siblings ever did to you? What’s the worst thing you’ve done to one of your siblings?
7. When’s the last time you saw any member of your family? Where are they now?
8. Did you ever meet any other family members? Who were they? What did you think of them?


Childhood Questions


1. What is your first memory?
2. What was your favorite toy?
3. What was your favorite game?
4. Any non-family member adults stick out in your mind? Who were they, and how did you know them? Why do they stick out?
5. Who was your best friend when you were growing up?
6. What is your fondest, childhood memory?
7. What is your worst childhood memory?


Adolescent Questions


1. How old were you when you went on your first date?
2. It is common for one’s view of authority to develop in their adolescent years. What is your view of authority, and what event most affected it?
3. What were you like in high school? What “clique” did you best fit in with?
4. What were your high school goals?
5. Who was your idol when you were growing up? Who did you first fantasize about in your life?
6. What is your favorite memory from adolescence?
7. What is your worst memory from adolescence?


Occupational Questions


1. Do you have a job? What is it? Do you like it? If no job, where does your money come from?
2. What is your boss or employer like? (Or publisher, or agent, or whatever.)
3. What are your co-workers like? Do you get along with them? Any in particular? Which ones don’t you get along with?
4. What is something you had to learn that you hated?
5. Do you tend to save or spend your money? Why?


Likes & Dislikes Questions


1. What hobbies do you have?
2. Who is your closest mundane friend? Describe them and how you relate to them.
3. Who is your worst mundane enemy? Describe them and why you don’t get along.
4. What bands do you like? Do you even pay attention?
5. What tape or CD hasn’t left your player since your purchased it? Why?
6. What song is “your song?” Why?
7. What’s been your favorite movie of all time?
8. Read any good books? What were they?
9. What do you watch on the Television?
10. When it comes to mundane politics, do you care? If so, which way do you tend to vote? If not, why don’t you care?
11. What type of places do you hang out in with your mundane friends?
12. What type of places do you hang out in with your normal friends?
13. What annoys you more than anything else?
14. What would be the perfect gift for you?
15. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
16. What time of day is your favorite?
17. What kind of weather is your favorite?
18. What is your favorite food? What is your least favorite food?
19. What is your favorite drink? (Coffee, Coke, Juice, Beer, Wine, etc.)
20. What’s your favorite animal? Why?
21. Do you have any pets? Do you want any pets? What kind?
22. What do you find most relaxing? (Not as in stress relief, but as something that actually calms you down.)
23. What habit that others have annoys you most?
24. What kind of things embarrass you? Why?
25. What don’t you like about yourself?
26. How would you like to look?


Morality Questions


1. What one act in your past are you most ashamed of? What one act in your past are you most proud of?
2. Have you ever been in an argument before? Over what, with who, and who won?
3. Have you ever been in a physical fight before? Over what, with who, and who won?
4. What do you feel most strongly about?
5. What do you pretend to feel strongly about, just to impress people?
6. What trait do you find most admirable, and how often do you find it?
8. Do you have any feelings in general that you are disturbed by? What are they? Why do they disturb you?
9. What is your religious view of things? What religion, if any, do you call your own?
10. Do you think the future is hopeful? Why?
11. Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure? Which is more valuable? Why do you feel this way?
12. What’s the worst thing that can be done to another person? Why?
13. What’s the worst thing you could actually do to someone you hated?
14. Are you a better leader or follower? Why do you think that? If you think the whole leader-follower archetype is a crock of shit, say so, and explain why?
15. What is your responsibility to the world, if any? Why do you think that?
16. Do you think redemption is possible? If so, can anyone be redeemed, or are there only certain circumstances that can be? If not, why do you think nothing can redeem itself?
17. Is it okay for you to cry? When was the last time you cried?
18. What do you think is wrong with MOST people, overall?


Miscellaneous Questions


1. What is the thing that has frightened you most? Do you think there is anything out there that’s scarier than that? What do you think that would be?
2. Has anyone or anything you’ve ever cared about died? How did you feel about it? What happened?
3. What was the worst injury you’ve ever received? How did it happen?
4. How ticklish are you? Where are you ticklish?
5. What is your current long term goal?
6. What is your current short term goal?
7. Do you have any bad habits? If so, what are they, and do you plan to get rid of them?
8. If you were a mundane person, what would you do with your life? What occupation would you want, and how would you spend all your time?
9. What time period do you wish you had lived in? Why? (Looking at this as an attempt to change history doesn’t count.) What appeals to you about this era?
10. How private of a person are you? Why?
11. If you were to gain an obscenely large sum of money (via an inhertiance, a lawsuit, a lottery, or anything else) what would you do with it?
12. What would you wish for if you found a genie?
13. What do you do when you are bored?
14. What is the most frightening potential handicap or disfigurement you can conceive of? What makes it so frightening?




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