Have you ever been on the other side of a job interview? Recently, I was invited to sit on a committee to interview candidates for a position open in my organization. It was a surprise, but they wanted my input for some bizarre reason. It was an interesting experience, and, of course, I translated it into something related to writing. After the interviews, I kept thinking things like, “What if I interviewed my characters? What would happen then?”
Perhaps I should interview the myriad of fictional creatures who end up carrying my stories. Myabe I should ask them that standard interview question, "Tell me about yourself." As a writer, maybe that’s the best way to determine where they need to be. Sometimes I think the heroes and heroines end up in the wrong places, perhaps even mismatched. Other times, they seem to fit perfectly. Maybe if I did a mock interview, the odds would be in my favor that I’d connect two characters who really wanted to be together.
But what kinds of questions do you ask your characters? For some reason, I keep thinking that no matter what I ask my male characters, I would somehow hire them. A hunk is a hunk, after all. My female characters, however, would have to work for it. I hate a romance with a whiny or TSTL heroine, so I think I’d be biased from the git go. I don’t want a whiny or TSTL hero, either, but usually with the male leads that’s not the problem. The problem is whether the male is an alpha or beta hero. Both have their charms and their place in literature, but if I only need one at the time, it can be tricky to pick between two hunks, regardless of their place in the food chain.
What would you do? Pick a character from a book and think about interviewing him/her for his position in that novel. Would Katniss Everdeen have made the cut in Hunger Games if she’d had to have gone through an interview first? Would Bella or Edward or Jacob been considered for the leads in Twilight if they’d had to sit down one-on-one with the author and tell her about themselves or elaborate on their skills at being a protagonist? What about Harry Potter?
A job interview for characters…hmmm.