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Presented by State Library Victoria

Marcel Proust's Questionnaire for your Characters

Hi! I’m baaaccckkkkk!!!

Writing any stories while stuck at home? Need to construct your characters into more real people? Or really like quizzes? This is (probably) for you.

I found this questionnaire on this website: The Write Practice

Marcel Proust was a French writer and in the late nineteenth century (when he was fourteen) devised this list of questions with his friend, Antoinette, to learn more about each other and themselves. But I find it’s also a really good way to get to know your characters.

So here are some questions for you to lead your character through and see how they would answer. Usually I can’t answer them all, but it definitely gets me thinking about what kind of person my character is. It’s also fun to try it yourself or get your friends to do it if you like!

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

2. What is your greatest fear?

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

5. Which living person do you most admire?

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

7. What is your current state of mind?

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

9. On what occasion do you lie?

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

11. Which living person do you most despise?

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

16. When and where were you happiest?

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

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

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

21. Where would you most like to live?

22. What is your most treasured possession?

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

24. What is your favourite occupation?

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

26. What do you most value in your friends?

27. Who are your favourite writers?

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

31. What are your favourite names?

32. What is it that you most dislike?

33. What is your favourite colour?

34. What is your greatest regret?

35. How would you like to die?

36. What is your motto?

Yep, there’s a lot of questions. But hey, we have a lot of time!

Ciao for now, and stay safe!

~forrestpuff

6 comments

inky State Library Victoria

Fantastic! This is a great way to build characters. I'm going to try it! Oh and welcome back!

17th Apr, 20
forrestpuff

Thanks Inky!

19th Apr, 20
silene

This is so handy thanks for sharing!!

25th Apr, 20
forrestpuff

Glad it's useful!

30th Apr, 20
siany

This is so amazing thank you sooooo much!!

30th Apr, 20
forrestpuff

Thanks! No problemo :)

30th Apr, 20