Interview Your Main Characters

So I am doing something different than I am used to. I am writing Possess in first person. It switches a little between the two main characters.  For this reason ESPECIALLY, I need to really be in touch with my main characters. We had talked previously about character creation, and importance of character arcs, but now I wanted to touch on another important part of character creation.

Interviewing your character.

Why? What better way to understand your character. By  giving your character a set of questions to answer, you find out what really makes them tick. What makes them into a well-rounded and 3 dimensional character.
Remember, we want characters that people will remember and that people will care about. I’ve been doing a bit more Pre-draft planning with Possess than I did with Mistaken because of things I learned through the process of writing Mistaken. These tidbits I share are from experience and to hopefully make other writers’ lives a bit easier on them as they venture into publishing land, be it traditional or self-pubbed.

Here is my character sheets for Harley and Nolan, my main characters of Possess.

How? For me and my history of tabletop RPG’s with my friends, figuring out character creation, motivations and the like has come a bit easier since falling in love with gaming.

You can start with your character’s basic background information.

Name/birthdate/age/height/weight etc etc etc.

From there you can dig further. Where were they born? Where did they grow up? Who are their parents? Are they alive or dead? What was their childhood like? Who was their best friend? Did they have a childhood pet?

You get the idea. Build their history. Real people have history. So do real characters. Next establish where they are at the beginning of the story. What do they do? What are their hobbies? Where do they live?

Dig into their personality. Are they introvert? Extrovert? What’s their sign and what does it say about them?

Ask them questions like, of the seven deadly sins, what would you be most guilty of?

Example- Harley- Wrath (she can hold grudges), For Nolan- he was envy (sometimes he wants what he shouldn’t).

Where would you go on vacation if you had 2 weeks to go anywhere?

What would you do if you got 1 million dollars? 500 dollars?

Don’t forget to think about their mannerisms too. Do they do something weird when they are concentrating? Do they twist their ring on their finger when they are nervous?

In the end, you will learn a lot about your characters and these interviews with them will give them all the details that make them real to your reader.

Here are some great resources to find character creation sheets or ideas for questions to ask your characters.

1 Response

  1. dana duncan

    Cool book

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