One of my favorite ways to flesh out a character is to ask him or her one or more questions and see what answers emerge. You can conduct this like an interview in your mind, or you can free-write in response to the questions from the point of view of your character (I prefer the latter approach; some prefer the former). There are always other options, of course; one would be to answer the question by writing a snippet of fiction depicting relevant events, and another might be to fill out diary entries (or blog entries!) for the character.
While I do have a few other resources available for character questions, including both a free 5.5M pdf of 365 character questions, I also like to occasionally include a few themed questions here. Today’s topic is friendship. You don’t need to answer a ton of questions about your character in order to get a handle on her, so pick and choose your questions instead. Answer at least one of the following for your character. If you’re a non-fiction writer, consider using one of the following as a journaling question instead. Don’t stop at a one-sentence answer–there should be an unspoken “why” and “how” in each question you ask!
- Who was your best friend when you were five years old?
- What was the worst friend you ever had?
- Which old friend do you miss the most?
- What’s the best friendship you ever had?
- Which old friend do you hope you never see again?