Writing Tips

How do I actually create my story? How do I create a character? Is my dialogue grabbing the readers attention? Answer all your questions here including tips and mistakes writers might be doing. Read about how to over come the biggest fear of any writer who ever wrote.... writers block!


1. determining character and setting

Determining character/s

Setting Questionnaire - General

(These questions are intended to help you develop your characters and their environment in your own mind.)

Where does your character live?

What are the climate and weather like there?

What does your character's home look like on the outside?

Who else lives with your character?Any pets?

Who made the decorating decisions regarding your character's home?

What does your character's home look like on the inside?

Who does the housework and/or yard-work? What is the visible result (e.g., messy, compulsively neat, neat on the surface but messy in certain places, etc.)

What does your character's home smell like?

What kind of artwork does your character have? Books? Music? Collections of any kind?

What kind of clothes does your character wear?

What is your character's neighborhood like?

What are typical sounds inside and outside of your character's home?

What are your character's cultural roots?

What subcultures does your character live and move in? What is your character's workplace like?

What are your character's favorite hangouts?

Where does your character go to relax or to escape? Where does your character go when he or she feels lonely?

Setting Questionnaire for Historical Fiction

Note: in your research, you can focus on the part of society that your main characters inhabited; e.g., 16th century France was a very different place for peasants versus the nobility.

What is the time frame of your story? In what location or locations will your story take place?

What were the attitudes of the time to religion, family, marriage, the role of children, gender, race, etc.?

What was the social structure like? Who was rich and who was poor? How did the classes interact?

What were the current events of the time? The latest scientific discoveries? Who were the influential people? What did men talk about? Women? Upper and lower classes?

What was the political situation of the time? Was the map different then -- what were the boundaries of the countries?

How did people dress, style their hair, etc.? Did they wear hats, bonnets, makeup, jewelry, weapons? What were their habits in terms of hygiene?

What kind of homes did people live? How were these homes organized?

What would all of the rooms have contained? Were there servants?

What was the structure and rhythm of domestic life?

What was the physical world like outside your characters' homes? Farmland? City? Forest? What animals and plants would there have been? What kind of crime or other dangers?

What diseases were common at the time? What kind of medical care was available?

Would people in your characters' positions have worked? Where would their money have come from?

What kind of food did people eat? What kind of cutlery was used? What were the eating habits and attitudes toward food?

How did people talk? What kind of vocabulary would they have used? Warning: if you write all of your dialogue in 16th-century speech, you are likely to annoy your reader really fast. But you can give little hints of it so that your reader gets the flavor. And be sure to avoid modern slang that will startle your reader out of the novel's time period.

What were the modes of transportation?

What was education like? What types of knowledge would your characters have had? (Remember: they wouldn't know about events or discoveries that happened after their time!)

World-Building Questionnaire for Speculative Fiction/Fantasy

Here are some topics to think about when developing your story's world.

What year is it when your story takes place?



Plants and animals:

Magical creatures?: Agriculture: Industry:


Languages spoken:

Religious beliefs:

Other customs (and the reasons for them):



Technological development:

State of science:

Is there magic in this world? If so, what are its rules?Questions to ask writing

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