Why should you care what your characters want? Don’t you tell them what they want? Unfortunately the answer is, you can’t tell your character anything. They’re just like kids. You may have created the character but it takes on a life of its own. So it’s important to figure out what your character wants. Finding out this information is important to moving your story forward and engaging your reader.
You don’t want to go easy on your character when you’re asking them questions. The questions you want to ask should generate answers that surprise you. Here are some questions you can ask your character.
When was the last time you were happy?
Tell me about your first pet?
When was the first time you got drunk? Tell me about it?
What one act in your past are you most ashamed of?
What in your past are you most proud of?
What do you pretend to care strongly about to impress people or gain acceptance?
What frightens you the most?
What are you scared of losing?
What is your favorite movie? What do you tell people your favorite movie is?
Where do you go to be yourself?
Here is the one question you shouldn’t ask your character. Are you ready for it?
What do you want?
You will not get any useful information that way.
Have fun exploring and digging deeper into your characters. You and your readers will be happy you did.