Note to Gwen: I promise I had this name the night before your recent flash fiction!
I used to like the idea of a “character interview” a lot, but never got very far with them. I think that’s because I knew the characters I was working with so intimately. For me, these work a lot better when you’re planning your characters rather than when you have them already. Lucky me, a little plot bunny bounced up to me out of the blue this morning with a little mini-character riding between its ears, so I thought I’d try to dig out some questions again. I used to have a formatted document with a bunch that looked nice printed out, but that went the way of the dodo a few computers ago, so I found these questions online instead. There you go–give or take 100 questions for your enjoyment. If you want to answer them for your own characters, I recommend going to the site. Aside from saving you the hassle of deleting all my answers to put your own in, I may have skipped a few questions that weren’t relevant to the character or story. (I believe these questions were developed for roleplay rather than novels).
I’m only going to do a few sections at a time. Otherwise, it would probably be more than anyone would want to read through all at once!
1. What about you is heroic?
2. What about you is social? What do you like about people?
I enjoy interacting with all of my peers, learning the latest gossip and determining what they can do for me. I like that people can be read so easily, and that they are predictable.
5. Invent an adventure/plot that your character would actively undertake (as opposed to just tagging along)?
1. What is your real, birth name? What name do you use?
2. Do you have a nickname? What is it, and where did you get it?
3. What do you look like? (Include height, weight, hair, eyes, skin, apparent age, and distinguishing features)
4. How do you dress most of the time?
5. How do you “dress up?”
6. How do you “dress down?”
7. What do you wear when you go to sleep?
8. Do you wear any jewelry?
9. In your opinion, what is your best feature?
10. What’s your real birth date?
11. Where do you live? Describe it: Is it messy, neat, avant-garde, sparse, etc.?
12. Do you own a car? Describe it.
13. What is your most prized mundane possession? Why do you value it so much?
14. What one word best describes you?
1. What was your family like?
I grew up with my mother, father, and sister in a northern castle where my father worked as an advisor to the king. I never knew other family–I think father’s brother came to visit once when I was small, but I can barely remember him. My grandparents and a few aunts and uncles are certainly still alive, but they don’t visit us and there’s never been an opportunity to visit them. I don’t mind much–the castle had enough people in it to feel like family.
2. Who was your father, and what was he like?
My father is Sir Clement (LAST NAME). He grew up as the younger son of a wealthy merchant and went to war with the king when he was just a little older than me. He doesn’t talk much about the war, so we don’t know what happened, only the result: the king knighted my father and two other comrades and granted them titles and lands. I suppose it was for bravery or good deeds on the field. Whatever it was, it made our fortunes great, and he still acts as the king’s key advisor. He’s a very busy man, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have time for us. From dinner to breakfast, he sets all work aside and spends his time with his family. Once the king himself knocked on our door while we were playing an evening card game, and he sent him away saying he was far too busy to see him at the moment. He says there’s many a man who worries so much about providing for his family that he forgets to spend time with it, and he wasn’t going to be one of them.
3. Who was your mother, and what was she like?
My mother is Lady Angeline (LAST NAME). She was born into a prosperous noble family and was known in her youth for her style and ability to throw the best parties. She still has a party once a year in the winter months in order to raise everyone’s spirits, but has largely settled into a role of instructing young noble girls in etiquette, a job she foisted on herself in my youth after meeting one too many of my friends who she didn’t believe to be acting properly. I’ve never had a problem with her rules myself and don’t consider her to be particularly strict, particularly not when she allows me to purchase just about anything I like from shops so long as I tolerate her coming along and stuffing me into every kind of fabric in the store.
4. What was your parents marriage like? Were they married? Did they remain married?
My parents began courting some years after my father was made a “Sir.” My mother’s family believed she was marrying below herself, but my father had become quite popular and was a favorite of the king, so no one could make too much of a fuss, not that I’m entirely certain my parents would have paid heed to what anyone said, anyway. They were quite in love–still are. There are arguments sometimes, of course, but never big ones, except when my father announced we were moving to the South. For a while I thought my mother would insist he go by himself, but she was persuaded in the end. They never stay mad at each other long, and I can’t see that anything would tear them apart.
5. What were your siblings names? What were they like?
I have one younger sister named Colette. She’s ten. Mostly people have quite a few more siblings than just one, but mama struggled to have Colette, and when she was born the doctors told her any more babies might do more harm than good. Colette takes more after mama than I do–she’s very talkative, outgoing bordering on boisterous, able to make friends easily and take people as they are. She’ll get in trouble with that later in life–not everyone can be trusted like she thinks they can.
6. What’s the worst thing one of your siblings ever did to you? What’s the worst thing you’ve done to one of your siblings?
I think I mentioned pulling her hair once. When she was quite small, Colette spit up all over my brand new dress–IN FRONT OF PEOPLE–which was extremely horrifying, but as she was only little I decided to forgive her. We are far enough apart in age that we don’t see each other much during the day, so we don’t have much chance to bicker. Colette adores me, and I think she can be cute (sometimes).
7. When’s the last time you saw any member of your family? Where are they now?
At breakfast. I suspect father’s taking luncheon with the king, while mama is entertaining some of the ambassadors’ wives, and Colette is eating with the other children in the school room. I’m hungry, too, come to think, so maybe we should break for now and come back to the rest of your questions later.