Knowing Your Character; Knowing Yourself

By Patty Wysong

Lately I’ve been interviewing the characters for my manuscript and it’s made me stop and think about more than just those characters. It’s made me think about myself. It’s also made me think I need to interview myself. Now there’s a scary thought.

Here’s just a small sampling of the questions I’ve been answering for  the major characters in my manuscript…

1. What does your character want more than anything else in the world?

2. What is his/her goal?

3. Whom does he/she dream about, yearn for, hate?

4. What virtues characterize this person?

5. What is your character’s greatest fear?

6. What one thing does your character hope no one will ever find out about him/her?

7. In one word, what motivates your character?

8. How would your character describe him/herself? (Self-concept determines destiny.)

9. What makes him/her laugh?

10. What is your character’s personality temperament?

11. What is their deepest unfulfilled desire of their heart?

12. What is he/she most proud of accomplishing?

13. What is he/she least proud of having done or being a part of?

14. What are their warts?

15. What are their phobias?

16. If they had only one day to live, how would they spend that day?

17. What kind of obstacles will most challenge them?

18. What will it take for this character to get to where they need to be with God?

19. What is the pivotal issue of faith that will draw them to a closer relationship with God?

I don’t know about you, but it would take me more than a few minutes to answer these questions about myself. In fact, some of these have had me pondering for several days now. Not just idly thinking or wondering, but heavy-duty thinking. And I don’t know that I’ve come up with the answers even now!

Knowing our characters as we write fiction is important if we’re going to tell their story and show how they get from point A to point B. Especially as we write Christian fiction that carries a message with it. But yanno, knowing ourselves helps us get from point A to point B without going around Robinson’s barn 30 million times, or without wandering in a wilderness for 40 years.

Just like knowing the answers to these questions (and at least 100 others like this) will help you plot your characters’ stories, knowing the answers about ourselves will help us plot our lives so the message of our lives is crystal clear to those that are watching and reading our lives.


Patty Wysong, a home executive with over 20 years of experience, homeschools three of her five children, but don’t let that fool you. She spends much of her time working on what God has placed in her hand: her keyboard. From the corner of her living room she writes inspirational fiction, devotionals, blog posts, and teaches online blogging workshops. You’ll also find her drinking kool aid from her china cup, preparing for the ladies Bible study she leads, and helping at their church.

Patty learned about blogs and blogging the hard way and now delights in teaching and helping others, sparing them that frustration so they can focus on what God has called them to do. Through her writing, Patty has found the extraordinary God in her ordinary life.

So tell me, are you open for an interview with yourself?

Be Sociable, Share!