Exploring Characters: Proust Style


THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE

MARCEL PROUST was a French writer who believed that people must know and understand themselves before they could know or understand others. He developed a list of subjective questions that he felt would help reveal to people their true selves and the inner personalities of those around them.

Respond to the questions in any manner you choose, briefly or at length. The point is to be honest with yourself. Some questions may require a few minutes of reflection, but many are best answered by recording the first thought that enters your head.

Once I determine the dramatic functions of my main characters; protagonist, antagonist, supporter etc. I often ask these questions for their character biographies.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OCCUPATION? (WAY OF SPENDING TIME)

WHAT HISTORICAL FIGURE DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?

WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?

WHO ARE YOUR REAL-LIFE HEROES?

WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?

WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU HAPPIEST?

WHAT IS YOUR MOST OBVIOUS CHARACTERISTIC?

WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE (HATE) IN YOURSELF?

WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN OTHERS?

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOURNEY?

WHAT DO YOU MOST DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST OVER-RATED VIRTUE?

ON WHAT OCCASION DO YOU LIE?

WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVER-USE?

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A MAN?

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A WOMAN?

WHAT IS IT YOU MOST DISLIKE?

WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST IN YOUR FRIENDS?

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIE?

IF YOU WERE TO DIE AND COME BACK AS A PERSON OR AN ANIMAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE?

IF YOU COULD CHOOSE AN OBJECT TO COME BACK AS, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO (WORDS YOU LIVE BY OR THAT MEAN A LOT TO YOU)?

WHO HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?

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