The Proust Questionnaire is about delving deeper into one’s personality. It was presented to Marcel Proust in his teens by his friend, Antoinette. Supposedly such questionnaires were all the rage among English families at the time; Proust’s answers were written in Antionette’s confession album titled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, Etc.” (from Wikipedia entry, Proust Questionnaire)
I love the Proust Questionnaire. In fact, it’s my favorite part of reading Vanity Fair, reaching the back of the magazine to see who’s answering that month.
I’ve found it’s also a brilliant tool for getting inside my characters’ heads and really learning about them, finding out what makes them tick. I’ve used it for Dev, Wyatt, Ryker, and Darby and fully believe it’s worked wonders in unlocking little quirks about them and better understanding how they relate to one another.
Check out what happens when my character Jools Clayworth gets a little Proustian with it.
- What is your idea of perfect happiness? Once upon a time, it would have been anything to annoy my older brother, Wyatt. Now I know better – perfect happiness is a load of shit.
- What is your greatest fear? Losing Ryker
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My use of rage to mask my pain
- What is the trait you most deplore in others? Stupidity
- Which living person do you most admire? Ryker
- What is your greatest extravagance? Smiling
- What is your current state of mind? Just trying to survive
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patience
- On what occasion do you lie? These days, hardly ever, no matter how brutal the truth. Folks don’t like that shit.
- What do you most dislike about your appearance? The marks. They are everywhere to make sure I never forget
- Which living person do you most despise? Carter Breslin
- What is the quality you most like in a man? The ability to forgive
- What is the quality you most like in a woman? The ability to forgive
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Hard to say – lately I don’t have much to say.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life? Ryker
- When and where were you happiest? Running on the beach at sunset, the water lapping at my feet, the wind in my hair, and a smile on my face. That was so long ago…
- Which talent would you most like to have? Sing like Lauryn Hill. She’s human, I know, but talk about badass. I love her.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My pain.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement? The Death. That’s all I’m going to say.
- If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Please don’t make me come back to this hell hole
- Where would you most like to live? A secluded island in the Maldives, where no one can find me
- What is your most treasured possession? my bow
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The Death.
- What is your favorite occupation? I only have one occupation – Killer
- What is your most marked characteristic? Bringing The Death.
- What do you most value in your friends? Loving me regardless
- Who are your favorite writers? Judy Bloom and JK Rowling, which shows how long it’s been since I read a book
- Who is your hero of fiction? Hermione Granger…duh.
- Which historical figure do you most identify with? Vlad the Impaler…just kidding…kind of.
- Who are your heroes in real life? Just Ryker. No plural.
- What are your favorite names? This question is stupid
- What is it that you most dislike? This fucking questionnaire
- What is your greatest regret? Agreeing to this fucking questionnaire
- How would you like to die? Most days I think I’m already dead.
- What is your motto? Survive.