I’m just wondering who does them and if you find it helps pull your characters together, or are your characters kept inside your head until they appear in your story? How detailed do you get with each one? Does it help you keep the facts straight as you go along so Uncle Bob doesn’t turn into Uncle Ben halfway into a chapter?
I just did one last night and I was surprised at some of the things my character felt, said, and things he/she did in the past. It got me wondering how common it is for others to do the character interview.
I was soaking in the bath this evening, as usual. No glass of wine or candles this time; instead just bubbles, a pen and an old unused notebook I’d found on a bookshelf. I was lying back letting conditioner seep into my hair when suddenly she waltzed in~ my muse. “Where the hell have you been?” was my first thought but that quickly changed to something more along the lines of “Oh thank God you’re here. I thought you were dead!”
My muse is a 20-something year old business woman with brown hair pulled up into a too-tight bun and she is always dressed in office attire~ a white blouse with a tight gray skirt and heels. Who knows why? Probably for the same crazy reason she always sits cross-legged on the edge of whatever it nearby; That often used to be my desk, but this time it was the edge of the bathroom sink. Anyway, she was here and I was out of that tub like a rocket, rinsed & dried, into my robe, and at the kitchen table pounding out my first outline since 2002. My pen didn’t stop moving for over an hour. I know my main character, the secondary characters, the whole beginning and how it ends.
I’m stunned. I could use a glass of wine now but I don’t have any in the house.
*Why do I feel like crying?*
Hello everyone! I’m Jenny, 39, married to Ken since 1988, mom of three sons (18,15, & 7) and one daughter (18 months).
I started writing in the early 90’s after taking Writing for Children, a 2 year course offered through the Institute of Children’s Literature. Patricia Calvert was my instructor and it wasn’t long after completing the program that several of my articles were published in a local magazine. The last time I wrote an article was 2002, when THE FEAR set in.
My greatest hope is to write again, complete projects I started several years ago, and find who I really am as a writer. THE FEAR has paralyzed me all these years… even writing this post fills me with anxiety, knowing others may see the flaws within both my limited typing skills and my thought processes. I try hard to be perfect and in the many areas I fall short I make an effort to at least give the impression that I am. This self-induced stagnation is unbearable. On one hand I’m wasting the creative gift I was given and on the other I doubt/deny the very existance of that gift.
I need to let go, learn to take risks, and accept that it is okay to be human. I need to accept that not everyone will find value in my work and not everyone will be pleased with what I’ve written. I need to accept that I am an adult and the words I write and actions taken by my characters are separate from who I am. If my characters do or say something entirely immoral, that doesn’t mean I am. I can’t write fearing someone else (my parents, my spouse, my children, my God) will be unhappy with me. I’m hoping someone will be able to encourage me in the mentioned areas and help me finally overcome THE FEAR.