Friday, Jun 29, 2012

Friday Fix (Craft): The Character Interview

A strong main character is essential to a strong story.  How does one develop a strong main character?  A good starting point is the Character Interview. 

Many authors begin a story by interviewing their main character.  During the interview process, the author discovers qualities and traits about his main character that he did not know and that will help add layers to his story.                                               

So what does an author ask her main character during the interview?  Here are a few pivotal questions: 

·      What is your greatest fear?

·      What is your greatest desire?

·      What is keeping you from achieving your greatest desire and why?

·      What is your greatest weakness?

·      What is your greatest strength?

·      What are your talents?

·      What do you value most in life?

·      What would you most like to change about your life?

·      What would you most like to keep the same about your life?

·      What that you have done are you most ashamed of?

·      What that you have done are you most proud of? 

These are just a few of the strategic questions you can ask your character during the interview.  All of these iquestions will play into the development of your plot.  

As you conduct interviews for all of your characters–particularly your protagonist, antagonist, and romantic interest if there is one in your story—you will be creating a character who is believable and well-rounded as opposed to flat. 

Take a few moments and interview your main character for a story you are currently writing or for one you would like to write.  Then let me know your results. 

To help get you started, here is a questionnaire used by the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City. 


 Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart

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6 thoughts on “Friday Fix (Craft): The Character Interview

  1. Another thing you can do is have our protagonist and antagonist have a conversation. Just a conversation. Nothing that necessarily has to do with the storyline. You can find out stuff you never knew. It’s an interesting exercise!

    June 29, 2012 7:55 AM

  2. This is a wonderful idea. I need to do it for a few of my characters in the WIP. Thank you for the breakdown and links!

    Have a good weekend,

    June 29, 2012 8:01 AM

  3. Great ideas, Mary Ann! I’ll definitely be trying out this questionnaire for my MC.

    I love Pam’s idea, too. I remember a recording from ACFW that talked about an author (don’t remember which one) who makes a cup of coffee for her character and drinks and “chats” with him.

    July 1, 2012 9:05 PM

    • Thanks, Julia! I’m glad the questionnaire and Pam’s idea are of help to you. I love the idea about having a cup of coffee with one’s character. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂



      July 1, 2012 10:38 PM