Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Character Interviews

I've recently re-discovered a very useful tool for developing characters. For me, thoughts and ideas flow like the proverbial river when I sit down and actually interview my characters.

It's not a stiff, formal interview - rather it's an intimate look into their lives. I ask questions, they respond as though I were a lifelong friend. They tend to tell me exactly how it is and thus, I can translate that into my story.

Some people probably think interviewing an imaginary person is quite strange. Non-writers would probably think me crazy, but you have to be a little bid addled in order to write.

I'm discovering that I have a better grasp on my characters, my plot, and my GMC this time around. My first novel was full of mistakes (which I think I fixed), but it was also a learning process - an invaluable one.

But if you're having trouble with a character and can't get him to "open up" to you, try an interview. You can do a search online and find "character interview questions" that just might jumpstart your plot and your story.

In Other News...

I took a two-hour nap last night and thus, didn't get to bed until late. I'm tired today and trying to keep my eyes open. It doesn't help that I have a ton to do today at work and do not have time to be tired.

I'm also looking into a new field called digital history. My university offers courses in it and I just might delve into it. Might be a new career.

Grandpa had a test that came back very good - so we're still in a bit of a waiting game on that score. But at least we're starting to get more answers than not now.

Tonight's goals: walk, eat a good supper, and finish reading a friend's manuscript. Oh yes - and the dreaded laundry.


  1. I'm glad you're enjoying the character interviews. :)

    Digital history sounds like fun! Let us know what it's like.

  2. I use character interviews a lot. I love them when they reveal something I didn't know. :)

    Wow, digital history. What is that, exactly? Sounds promising and like a good match for you!

  3. digital history...must google that...

    You want to come do my laundry along with yours??? *g

  4. I've heard a lot about the character interviews, but never used this method.

    Do you have a specific set of questions you use each time, or is it something you just make up as you go along?

  5. Nikki -
    I usually ask some standard questions - for example, what was your relationship with your mother, father, siblings, and a lot of the time, things just sort of snowball from their answers. It's rather amazing, actually.
    Kacey - I'm afraid I'll have to pass on your offer of doing your laundry! *grins* My kids don't seem to understand the concept of what is clean and what is dirty. "I wore my jeans for an hour, mom. They're dirty!" grrrr

  6. Melissa - glad your grandpa's doing so much better!!!! What a relief.

    Cool re your character "interview". Great to hear it worked for you and that everything for your story is gelling :-)


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