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"Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God." Psalm 102:18

"Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others." Habakkuk 2:2

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Interview Your Characters

I had an interesting writing assignment for a course I've been taking, and didn't think a whole lot about it at first. My lesson was on characterization, and getting to better know the people who will be playing out in the various scenes in my new book. One section of the assignment consisted of interviewing your characters to get them to talk so you get a better understanding of their 'voice' and what motivates them.

I like to write Christian historical romances set in the 1870's in the Midwest. So I pretended I was a reporter of a newly formed newspaper and set to work interviewing my characters. I sat my hero and heroine down at separate times :) and started firing questions at them. I've only written part of the second chapter, so my characters don't really know or like each other yet.

As I interviewed my duo, I was surprised by their answers and what motivates them. Some of it was part of the background that I already had been developing, but some parts surprised even me. If anything, now I have a better feel for my characters, and may even adopt some of what I used in the interview in my actual novel. Next time I get to a part of writing where I'm not sure which way to go, I'll have to pull out my reporter hat and start interrogating again. :)

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