As I’ve said before, I’m a fan of interviewing my characters. Sometimes it’s very helpful. Ever see a politician or an actor get tripped up on a question? Makes you wonder about them, right? Interviewing your characters is a great way to keep him from getting tripped up within the plot of your story. It will keep him from behaving out of character, which is totally different than doing something surprising. And it will keep you secure in who this guy is that you have created.
I love the television show, Inside The Actor’s Studio with James Lipton. At the end of each interview, he has his guest answer the questionnaire made famous by French television personality, Bernard Pivot. Perhaps these questions aren’t for you. No biggie. Make up your own. I have another set I ask my character that help delve deep enough to really draw out my character’s personality.
The questions below are pretty light, but I think they help firm of the edges of a three dimensional character.
I’ve answered the questions like my mc Sayra from the novel I’m currently querying. Hopefully it will tell you something about her without a long drawn out summary.
1. What is your favorite word? Vrrroooom!
2. What is your least favorite word? Murder
3. What turns you on? Working on my car
4. What turns you off? Undeserved Entitlement
5. What sound or noise do you love? The purring engine of my 67 Mustang.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? Girls giggling. Ugh.
7. What is your favorite curse word? Shit.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I don’t have a profession, but I’d probably like to be a mechanic.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything that would require me to wear makeup and nail polish on a daily basis.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I gave you these psychic dreams so you can make a difference in the world.
Since I write YA, I also add:
11. What do you want to achieve by the time you graduate, turn eighteen, return from summer break…etc.? Whatever the setting is for your novel will help to fill in that question.
I hope to have my father embrace my gift, gain better control over my psychic dreams, and use my visions to help people. Oh and maybe get drag racing legalized in Monterey California.
Take some time out and set up and interview. Use these light-hearted questions or dig deeper and see if it helps round out your characters!