Wednesday Writing Exercise: Interview Your Character

In this second installment of Mots Justes’ Wednesday Writing Exercise, we’re going to share another character-development technique. Like last week’s post, this idea came from course instructor Emma Sweeney during a three-week summer graduate writing class at Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge.

Interview your characters. Ask them ten questions. Capture their voices.

And don’t be afraid to get confrontational. Ask them why they are lying, if they are, and probe the things they are uncomfortable talking about or not being honest about.

When I first tried this exercise, I was working with a very familiar character, so I was pretty sure I knew how he would respond to my line of questioning. I picked a very specific topic I wanted to discuss with him—yet he led me down a completely different path! Apparently he wasn’t done dealing yet with issues I had left behind.

Try interviewing one of your characters, and let me know how it goes!

Caught in the ’Net

Don’t feel like writing? Try one of these seven strategies.

The McCain campaign apparently finally found and removed this embarrassing punctuation faux pas.

Tired of encountering bad grammar in the supermarket checkout line? Sticklers in the U.K. can now shop unaffronted at Tesco.


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