As a way of following the advice I offered in my last blog post, I’m back this week to share an interview I’m hosting with the main character and anti-hero of my current YA high fantasy work-in-progress. She often comes off as mysterious, so in this spirit, she asked me to only refer to her by the first letter of her name, “R.” Yes, she’s always this difficult, and at this time, I have no chocolate cake or well-crafted swords to bribe her with, so please bear with me.

Here we go . . .

Kayla: Hello, R, thank you for agreeing to sit down with me again. How are you today?


R: Peachy.


Kayla: What have you been up to lately?


R: You mean before you hit that writing wall?


Kayla: Mmhm.


R: Burning down villages, hunting people—the usual.


Kayla: All in a day’s work, yeah?


R: Yep.


Kayla: So, tell us about yourself.


R: Why?


Kayla: Because this is an interview.


R: So? It’s no one’s business. I’m only doing this because you promised to get on with the story if I talked to you.


Kayla: *sighs* So what do you want to talk about?


R: Maybe how you make my life unnecessarily hard just for the sake of other people’s sadistic enjoyment.


Kayla: Well, this got awkward fast.


R: You ruin lives.


Kayla: That’s not entirely true. Well, not for all my characters.


R: It is true, and one day, you may even profit off of the blood of your characters. And they call me a monster.


Kayla: How about some tea?


R: That’s all you have to say?


Kayla: I also have pictures of llamas if that would help you feel better.🦙


R: What if this is what I want to discuss?


Kayla: I can’t respond without giving any spoilers. It may get worse or it may get better. You’re just going to have to keep on keeping on and be patient. This is a spoiler-free interview.


R: *mutters* And a cake-free one.


Kayla: Unfortunately.


R: I don’t like you.


Kayla: That’s understandable, but I did give you awesome magical powers, like being fireproof. So I do get some props.


R: *grumbles*


Kayla: Moving on . . . What are your favorite hobbies when you aren’t on the hunt?


R: Like I’d tell anyone.


Kayla: What are you willing to discuss, then? Work with me here. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner I’ll get back to writing you out of that predicament you’re in with the time-bending demon.


R: Fine. I guess I like to swim. I miss going to the beach. You should write me a scene where I’m at the beach again sometime.


Kayla: I’ll make a note of that. What else?


R: I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to think of anything else on the spot like this. I don’t get to do much other than the missions you send me on, and I’m not allowed to talk about those because of “spoilers,” right?


Kayla: Well, yeah, but there are a lot of other things. You enjoy reading, remember?


R: I guess.


Kayla: And you liked the opera.


R: I only went there because I was stalking that one nobleman, so that doesn’t count.


Kayla: Would you go there again even if you weren’t stalking anyone?


R: Perhaps. Look, I don’t really see the point of this. I have things to do and I’m bored. I’ve never been good at conversations and I’m not going to change for this interview. I want you to get on with the story already.


Kayla: Fine, but I was hoping we could talk a bit more—


R: Not happening, at least not until you get your head out of your arse and complete the scene I’m stuck in the middle of. I held up my end of the agreement well enough. Now it’s time you hold up yours.


Kayla: Really? You’re going already? I haven’t even—


R: *leaves without another word*

That went well.

I got her to stick around longer last time. Some characters are going to be more difficult than others. This probably wasn’t the best time to try and pull her in for a chat, but at least I was able to get her to hang around for a few minutes. The truth is, she doesn’t like sitting still, especially when she has a lot on her mind. With any luck, I’ll be able to pull her back in for another interview later . . . after I complete the scene she’s so upset about.

Hopefully, your characters are less combative. Regardless, it’s a fun exercise, even with a character as acerbic and uncooperative as R often is, and it helped me get a better feel for her attitude and the rhythm of her dialogue. Also, whether it was the less-than-gentle prodding from R or just hanging around her again, I have a strong urge to get back to my writing now, and I have a beach scene to plan. If you decide to try this exercise, it would be interesting if you posted the results on your own blog and linked to them down in the comments!

Until next time.