Beating Writer’s Block: Interview Your Character

Interview Your Character

If you’ve read my post on describing your character, you’ll know that your character can just as well be your audience, your target market. How well you know each is important. Whatever you write, this chapter will be of benefit, so long as you remember that there’s always someone to interview.

The purpose of this chapter is two-fold: it gives you a chance to figure out the right questions to ask, and it gives you a chance to find the answers. Doubt and ignorance are two of the contributing factors to Writer’s Block. They’re the cornerstones of the structure that hold you back, and the easiest way to destroy them is to ask questions. Below, I’ve supplied some sample questions for you to ask your character. You should also come up with some more of your own, keeping in mind what you’re writing and making them specific to the text.

  1. How would you describe yourself?
  2. What do you value most in life?
  3. Do you have any lifelong dreams left unfulfilled? What’s stopping you from doing them?
  4. Do you have a motto to live by?
  5. Who is the most important person in your life right now?
  6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  7. Who is your personal hero?
  8. If you could go to any period in time, what would it be and why?
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why did you choose there?
  10. What one skill would you like to learn most that you can’t already do?

When you’ve read through the list, and maybe written your own questions to go with the ones I supplied, answer them.

Action Time! Write from the point of view of your character or audience.

Write honestly, and write complete answers. The point here is to determine: how a person sees himself; what a person values in life; what a person wants from life, and why he hasn’t achieved his dreams; who he values in life; where he wants to be in the future; the time periods and places they love the most, and why they love them; and what it is they want to be able to do.

For writers of fiction, this means knowing a lot more about your character. For all writers, this means knowing who you’re writing a book for. You know what matters the most to them. This is the information you need to be able to affectively market to your audience, whether that’s how you design your cover, what you write about, who you interview, among other areas of life that are significant for your audience.

Tomorrow’s post also contains some interview questions that you might consider answering for your character or audience, though they may require some slight alterations for context.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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