Developing Character Traits - Hot Seating

Hot Seating is an activity used in drama where an actor will assume the role of a character and is then asked a series of questions about their background, behaviour and motivation.

Here is how we use this technique to shape a personality around our characters.

It works like this: as the writer, get yourself in the mindset of one of your characters. If you can perform the character's mannerisms, even better!

Next, ask a friend to fire off a list of questions about your character's personality traits, habits, and skills. We found a great list of prepared questions online; you can find the link to the list in the description.

Here are some of the questions we asked to develop our character for our film Keep The Change.


Make a note of the answers, either by writing them down or recording the session. You can come back to them at a later date. Maybe you are stumped as to what your character will react like in a particular situation. You might already have the answer in your list.

We've used this technique in the past to flesh out characters, and we found that you learn more about your character than you'd even expect. Answers seem to erupt out of nowhere.

It isn't necessary to answer hundreds of questions about your character. This technique is used for you as a writer to get to know your character better. Once you feel you know your character better, it's time to start writing.

If you want to watch the full hot seating session with Rob you can find that video below.


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