It’s amazing how quickly characters become like real people, and authors quickly treat them like that and when written well so do readers. With a well written character, the author will often know them inside out. So how does it get like that? Well that will come through the written of the story, characters just develop that way. But to get yourself started many people will draw out some character sketches and others will actually sit down and interview their character.
There are several different way to interview characters but for the purpose of this interview I will stick to four different version.
Version one – 20 questions
This similar to your social media quizzes with the getting to know you questions. Examples are:
1. If you could do anything today, what would it be?
2. If money was no object, where would you live/go on holiday?
3. What first impression do you give people?
4. Does this change over time?
5. What makes you happy?
6. What are you most proud of?
7. What are you most ashamed of?
8. If you could relive on moment what would that moment be and why?
Version two – the basic
This is your basic information that informs the character without that characters opinion influencing the answers with opinions.
1. Character's name
7. Strong personality traits
8. Level of education:
9. Current occupation:
10. Particular talents/skills
12. Main disappointments:
Version three – the close friend questions
These are the style of questions that you would only really ask a good friend, maybe over a glass of wine or two.
1. What do you really want?
2. What are you hiding?
3. Do you use other people?
4. Do they use you?
5. How do you feel about that?
6. How would you like to change things?
7. What is the worst thing that could happen to you?
8. What would make that so bad?
9. Who has really hurt you and how?
10. What is stopping you from living happily ever after?
This is like the chat show interview, where the questions will go with the flow and the next question will come because of the answer to the last question.
“So Romeo, how do you really feel about Juliet?”
“She’s really hot and I’m not meant to like her, because she’s from this rival family, which kinda makes her even more hot.”
“So do you think that is some of the appeal?”
“Well, yes, it kinda gives things an extra edge.”
“What attracts you to that extra edge?”
As you can see, each style of interview has different uses and will show you a different part of that character. And as for the style you chose to use, and the questions you ask, well that is really up to you and depends how important a character is. For a main character you might want to go through all four different styles of questions and for a smaller character you may just want to know the basic. Either way, have fun with it any you might find some fun facts out about your characters that surprise you and bring those characters to life as real people.