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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Character Interviews - Help wanted

Had a little issue with blogger.  It posted this Friday even though I CLEARLY slated it for Sunday.  So sorry if any of you saw it appear and disappear.

I'm here to enlist your help.  I've been reading all over the blogosphere (like you no doubt) about interviewing your characters to dig a little deeper into their personalities.  I LOVE this idea, but the problem is I am asking all the questions I KNOW I have answers for. That doesn't do me much good as a development tool does it?

Do you see where I'm going with this?

I want your questions!  I'll give you a little sketch of who he (or she) is now, and you ask me those probing questions I need to flesh the characters out a little more.  

Ask me anything.

Whether he picks his nose
Whether he likes boxers or briefs.

If he's been abducted by aliens

If it works (ie, it gets my creative juices flowing) I'll post the answers for your enjoyment.

It'll be fun.  At least I think it could be!

We'll just do one at a time so I can really crawl inside their head before moving on.

First up, let's do my hunky husband, (ahem, that's my main character's hubby).

Jackson Andrews (subject to change).  I see him with dark hair, which he keeps in a military-style crewcut, and icy blue eyes.  Long eyelashes and dimples. He was a dork in high school, but found his inner hottie in college.

He looks something like this:
(it's PURE coincidence that a member of my virtual harem fit this description!)

He's 28, has an architectural engineering degree, and has his own contracting business which is doing well, but isn't quite 'established' he's putting in a lot of hours.  His father also did contracting, but kept it to mostly residential renovations.  Father passed the business on to Jackson who more or less ignores the residential side and is concentrating on creating commerical business.

Jackson has a twin sister who happens to be his wife's best friend (how they met).  He's been married less than 2 years, and the honeymoon ended when his wife got pregnant unexpectedly then lost the baby.  Now he wants to take extra precautions to make sure it doesn't happen again (until they're ready) and she's chomping at the bit to start the family NOW.

  • His father was a notorious philanderer.  His mother ignored it for the most part until one of his mistresses died and left him the house he renovated for her.  
  • Jackson never really forgave his father for this. 
  • Due to sudden health problems, Jackson lost his office manager (spunky woman near 70 whom he 'inherited' from his father's practice).  She is replaced by a sexy siren of a woman who may or may not be looking to mix business with pleasure.  His wife hates her, but she's really good at the job and he can't afford to replace her (too many deadlines looming) no matter how much his wife wants him to.
There you go...what kind of questions do you have for my hubby?


chasing empty pavements said...

1. What is the one thing he fears above everything else?

2. Is the relationship between father and son one of admiration and love, one of just respect or one of survival-learning the ropes of the business to survive.

3.Deep down, who wants the baby more and why will this be important to the story?

4.What's the relationship like between Jackson and his twin sister. Is it like many "twins" who are close or are they distant. What sort of significance will her character have in this story?

Okay there's some things to ponder! Let's hear those ideas!

Mary said...

So far you've told us everything you want for Jackson. Have you ever asked Jackson what he wants or what he is? Have you tried telling him what you think you need from him and letting him give you his ideas?
And you're right HE may change his name!

Megalicious said...

What attracted him to his wife in the first place? How did they meet (was it a set-up or accidental)? How long until he realized he wanted to marry her?

Dawn said...

Oh dear...I was a journalist and am known for some quirky questions. So I've got a list for you :-)

Does Jackson keep a diary? Whose diary would he love to read?
What is Jackson's most embarrassing moment?
What is his secret passion?
What would drive him to cheat on his wife?
What was Jackson doing an hour before this story began?
If Jackson could erase one memory, what would it be?
What is the physical feature he is most complimented on?
Does he like to cook?
Does he exercise regularly?
Does Jackson doodle while on the phone? If so, what does he doodle?
Does he snore?
Does he fold his underwear? Boxers or briefs?
Do naked photos of him exist?

And the most important... Coke or Pepsi? :-)

Carole Anne Carr said...

What is the most horrific thing that happened to him in his childhood when lost, away from home, and when he came across that person and that old house and how will this affect him through the novel?

Ed Pilolla said...

how did jackson first lose his virginity? that's usually a great question for a female character, but i think it's also good for male characters.

what are jackson's sexual insecurities?

great post idea!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I would ask Jackson how he feels about his wife's desperation to have another baby. And I'd probably ask him if he's tempted by this new woman in his office.

Good luck! I'm a big believer in character interviews. I used to have a series of character interviews on my blog, but haven't done it in ages. It's a great tool, though.

Diane J. said...

How far along was his wife when she lost the baby?
Were they already buying baby gear?
Did they know the gender?
If so, how will that play out when/if she gets pregnant again?

Why is he interested in the commercial side?
Does he think that will make more money quickly?
Does he have any shoddy contractors doing work for him?
What does he feel toward others who cut corners to keep a job cheaper (more money in their pocket)?

That's all I can think of now. Great idea.

Vicki Rocho said...

These are FANTASTIC! Just what I was looking for! He's trying to push his way to the foreground to take his turn in the spotlight. It will be very interesting to get answers to these!

Thanks for your help and keep the questions coming!

Theresa Milstein said...

Are you tempted to cheat on your wife because that's what your father did?

Why don't you want to start a family now?

Are you happy in your marriage?

Wendy Ramer said...

Does he hate his father because he was a philanderer or because he could get women when Jackson couldn't (because of the nerd within)? Might infidelity prove to Jackson that he is just as manly as his father was

Wendy Ramer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Hmm...does he really not want kids, or is he just avoiding the repeat emotional trauma? What does he love about his wife? Does he do anything besides work,work,work?

What a great idea! Hope I'm not too late to get in on the action/questions! :)