What Are Your Characters Saying?

The main protagonist Lucas, as seen in Super S...

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I am currently working on a middle grade novel and reworked the outline. I’ve read that it’s a good idea to interview characters to get a feel of who they are. That will come next. I hope that this will help me develop my story and create better dialogue so that my characters stick out individually.

Since I have written 3 chapters already I am hopeful I won’t have to change them up to much as a result. I’m just wondering if anyone has tried this. If so, has it worked for you? If not, are you willing to interview your characters to see what they are saying?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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6 comments on “What Are Your Characters Saying?

  1. That’s a great idea Rashida. This will invite browsers to stop by frequently to get to know all of your characters. It will also get an active interest in your book project. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I’m currently developing the characters for a novella I’m writing. I haven’t done an interview with my characters but I have done backstories for them and did an “application” for them where I list all of their personal information and background. I include everything I can think of from their favorite food to what’s in their wallet or purse.
    I was thinking of doing the interviews as blog posts to introduce my readers to my characters, though.

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  3. That’s a great idea Greg. I need to get started on this. I am a little stuck on my project and i hope this will help. Thanks.

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  4. I have interviewed my characters in the past, but sometimes the standard Q&A session seems artificial, particularly for a character who wouldn’t likely be interviewed this way (e.g., a child). Two exercises I’ve found more helpful:

    1) Put your character in a room with another character, particularly one she doesn’t like or get along with. Have them talk about whatever it is they would talk about in this situation.

    2) Get inside your character’s head while he is doing something he would normally do. Write down his thoughts as they occur to him. (I did this once by using my teenaged cousin as a guinea pig. It’s amazing what “thoughts” passed through his mind while he was simply watching TV.)

    The first exercise has a more conversational quality than a Q&A and can show you how your character will respond to a more typical situation when the “interviewer” isn’t merely asking questions and waiting for a response. The second exercise reveals the character’s inner world, how his thoughts wander, and what he chooses to focus on.

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  5. I have done this before and I think it helps to get to know the character better. It always amazes me when authors are interviewed and asked some crazy question about the character in their past and they know exactly how to answer. That is some serious getting to know your character.

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