Life · Writing & Publishing

Fall In Love With Your Character

If you’re a writer, you know the importance of a well developed character.

If you’re a reader, you also know the importance of a well developed character.

If you watch movies, television, or even anime, you know the importance of a well developed character.

Since I was young, I’ve used my mother’s Writers Digest guide to character sketches. It was a three ring binder she had (typed) from before I was even born (I was born in 1981) as part of a correspondence course they offered. Over the years I have “fixed” it to fit my needs and intimately get to know my characters.

This morning, while listening to the radio, I learned I no longer need to fill out 45+ pages of demographics and questions per character, but just ask my characters 36 questions each. Evidently, an experiment done years ago where two strangers walked into a room, answered 36 questions each, and then stared into each others eyes for four minutes. It made them fall in love and get married within six months.

Recently, another woman tried the experiment and found the love of her life (though she claims to not subscribe to the idea of a soul mate……because THAT is far fetched!)

Is it possible to introduce two strangers, ask them 36 questions (getting progressively more intimate as the question go on), have them stare into each others eyes for four minutes, and have them be in love forever? I suppose anything is possible. Personally, it doesn’t matter if it works or not because I’m married to the “Marine of my dreams” as I like to call him…BUT the questions are interesting, and I think they would help writers with the development of their characters. I have no idea who crafted the questions or what they were based on…..but they are interesting!  Here is the article I read, if you would like more information!

Read more of Mandy Len Catron’s writings on love on her website.


1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

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