Know Thy Character

Currently listening to “Namida Surprise” by AKB48. (Because…you know…Japanese music… >.<)

character-interview

So, it’s been…what? A week since I started doing this post-a-day thing? I feel like I’ve been training for a mental marathon. And in a way, I suppose I have. I will say, I can already see some of the effects of my daily writing on my inspiration levels. I think I’m about ready to start back on my novels again, and I am starting to remember how much I enjoy writing. Except right now, I guess. Right now, I really just want to go to bed. Between classwork and an hour commute one way to work (yay, Austin traffic), I don’t think sleep ever sounded so good. (Then again, I probably said the same thing in college. Haha!)

While mulling over what to write for my post today, I came across an article called “35 Questions To Ask Your Characters from Marcel Proust.” And I thought, “Hey, why not talk about character building today?”

I’ve seen a lot of blogs where authors “interview” their characters for their readers, but I don’t think I’ve ever done a character “interview” before. Not that I shouldn’t have. Knowing your characters is an essential part of writing a successful story. Because, after all, if you don’t know your characters, your readers definitely won’t.

There’s a lot that goes into building a character, and making them real, believable people is key to a successful story. I’ve read that the writer needs to know 100% about their characters, even if the reader only ever sees 20%. Because it’s the 80% the reader doesn’t see that creates the foundations for the 20% they do. A reader wants to know that the person they’re reading about is relatable. That means your new hero needs weaknesses, life philosophies, dreams and desires.

I always thought I was a pretty good writer, at least when it came to characterization, but after looking at this list, I’m beginning to wonder. A lot of the questions are things that I never really thought about, even though I really should have.

I have probably close to 100 important characters stretched out across the list of books I either have published or am in the process of writing. (I am guilty of ensemble casts, which is how this number could get so high). However, considering my recent work on Infinite, I thought it would be easiest to “interview” Vigil first. I will probably “interview” more characters as time goes on, but for now, we’ll just stick with Vigil. She’s one I need to figure out, anyway, because she is so similar to myself that I need to make sure she doesn’t actually start sounding like me. (Lol!) Also, for the sake of time, I’m going to limit this one to 20 questions, instead of 35. And with that, here we go! Hope you enjoy!

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    Answer: Living a quiet life, enjoying the natural world around me or the company of my friends. It’s relaxing to me to watch their antics.
  2. What is your greatest fear?
    Answer: Heights. Definitely heights. Or, rather, falling from great heights. I like earth…a lot…
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Answer: My weakness. I don’t really view myself as strong in anything valuable.
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Answer: Lack of honor. I hate it when people disregard honor for their own selfish purposes.
  5. Which living person do you most admire?
    Answer: Wraith. She never second-guesses herself. Even though she probably should…
  6. What is your greatest extravagance?
    Answer: Books. I buy too many books.
  7. What is your current state of mind?
    Answer: Worried. I’m the only healer in our group, and this is a dangerous game we’re playing right now.
  8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    Answer: I don’t think any virtue is overrated. All virtues have their place.
  9. On what occasion do you lie?
    Answer: Mostly when I’m trying not to hurt someone’s feelings. Or when someone asks me about my love life…
  10. Which living person do you most despise?
    Answer: Anyone who hurts innocent people.
  11. What is the quality you most like in a man?
    Answer: Loyalty. I like to know that I can trust him.
  12. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    Answer: Also loyalty. It goes back to my emphasis on honor.
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Answer: With Alex and Wraith around? “Children…” and “Behave yourselves” come to mind.
  14. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    Answer: Besides books? Well…there happens to be a certain samurai that I’m partial to. Not that I’d ever tell him that.
  15. Which talent would you most like to have?
    Answer: The ability to sing and not break everybody’s eardrums.
  16. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    Answer: A pet cat. Then I could sleep all day and sit on my owner’s books when they try to read. (Haha!)
  17. Where would you most like to live?
    Answer: In a cabin near a lake and surrounded by a forest.
  18. What is your most treasured possession?
    Answer: IRL, probably the picture of my mother from when she was a young girl.
  19. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Answer: To be completely and utterly alone.
  20. What is your favorite occupation?
    Answer: Reading. Or writing about what I’m reading.
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One thought on “Know Thy Character

  1. I can not begin to express how happy I am to hear the inspiration is beginning to return. Also, this idea to interview characters is so good. I love it. I may have to do that some time. You may see a post from me soon.

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