It is vital that authors get to know their characters, especially the main characters. I’ve compiled a list of questions that will help authors create complete personalities and histories for their characters.

These are frequently referred to as character bibles because they will be the go-to resource for information on your character. While it is important to know some of this information for minor characters (especially physical description), their bibles don’t need to be nearly as extensive. Not all points will require answers, but it is still beneficial to consider each of them. It is most helpful when the answers are written down for later reference.

This list is still evolving, so if you have suggestions for more questions to add, please include them in the comments.

Character:

Physical

Physical appearance

Age:

Height:

Weight:

Body type:

Shape of mouth/nose:

Shape of face:

Color/quality of eyes:

Color/texture/length of hair:

Shade/texture of skin:

Birthmarks:

Size/condition of hands:

Manner of dress:

Illness:

Voice and speech

Tone/pitch of voice:

Soft-spoken or loud:

Accent:

Odd rhythms of speech:

Nature of character’s vocabulary:

Grammatical or ungrammatical speech:

Curse words:

Slang:

Multilingual:

Movement and gestures

Hyperactive or slothful:

Awkward or graceful:

Expressive with hands or body:

Poor or good posture:

Ticks:

Agile or not:

Emotional

Personality

Bad:

Good:

Flaws:

Raison d’etre:

Fears:

Pleasures:

Joys:

Ideals:

Regrets:

Defeats:

Triumphs:

General likes/dislikes:

Sense of humor:

Dreams:

Plans for the future:

Attitudes toward children:

Attitudes toward money:

Attitudes toward life:

Grudges:

Revenge:

Personal history

Date of birth:

Place of birth:

Parents rich, poor/middle class:

Parents good, bad/indifferent:

Father’s occupation:

Mother’s occupation:

Ethnic background:

Childhood traumas:

Mental illness:

Brothers/sisters:

Most influential person in character’s childhood and why:

Spiritual

Belief System

Attitude toward sin/evil:

Attitude toward virtue/good:

Attitudes toward death:

Deities:

Atheist/agnostic:

Involvement of deities:

Religion:

How often attend services:

Devoutly or casually faithful:

Attitudes toward liquor/drugs:

Forbidden acts:

Virtues:

Vices:

Sexuality

Marital status:

Sexual preference:

Virgin, well-experienced or promiscuous:

Likes sex or not:

Good or bad lover:

Guilt-ridden or guilt-free:

Attitudes toward opposite sex:

Attitudes toward love:

Intellectual

Education

High school:

College:

Higher degrees:

Course of study:

Completed education:

Success in school:

Reading habits:

Politics:

Literacy:

Vocation

Job history:

Nature of career:

Has character changed career:

Performs job well or not:

Likes the work:

What boss/co-workers think of character:

Skills and talents

Skills

Talents

Hobbies:

Childhood hobbies:

Sports:

Supernatural

Magic

Ability:

Strength:

Weakness:

Physical appearance:

Rules:

Laws:

Consequences:

Societal perception:

Personal perception:

Harm/heal:

Redemption:

Weapons

Trademark weapon:

Special weapon:

Who made them:

Proficiency:

Appearance:

Markings:

Special abilities:

Species

Human/nonhuman:

Intermarry:

How many in world:

Shapeshift:

Procreation:

Death:

Age at death:

Feuds:

Mortal/immortal:

World of Origin

Family:

Society:

Procreation:

Social position:

Dependence:

Social class:

Birth rites:

Death rites:

Resources:

Friends:

Enemies: