Talking with writers – interview about characters

Welcome to Character Circus ~ where they like to let you think you are the one pulling strings.
{as you might have noticed, I happened to be somewhat absent recently – apologies for that, I shall get myself back on track}

The other day, I had a conversation with my character. Her being who she is and me being who I am, basically, that is nothing to be worried about. However, talking to her I reached some conclusions about what it means to be the creator of a character, what I should think of and what I must make sure I don’t do – because seriously, when she got angry at me..but that’s another story. All in all, the conversation I had with her lead me to the idea of talking to one of the other writers I’m surrounded with on the Young Writers Society.

And here I am, at this charming hour of the night, in company of one by the name of Alvarin, a brilliant young writer who kindly agreed to answer some of my questions.

~A: *sneaks in* Hello? :3

Me: Hi Alvie, welcome to the Character Circus! Sit down, relax, take some cookies and all that goes with it.. are you ready?

~A: Yes, box. *noms* Ask away.

Me: So, you’ve been a writer for quite some time now. Do you happen to remember the very first – or one of the very first – characters you’d created?

~A: I do remember, yes. I think I was about 7 or 8 when I wrote my first story. The main character was called Roger, and he was a deer.. A really brave deer, saving his sister from a bear. Go ahead and laugh xD

Me: Haha, that actually sounds adorable ^^ Did he ever come to you to demand things, like my characters tend to do with me?

~A: No, my characters hadn’t actually started talking to me back then, that came a few years later. Now I’m constantly hearing a cacophony of voices in my head.. Which is totally healthy – if you’re a writer.

Me: Well said, we should all keep telling ourselves that. Would you share what your characters mostly complain about?

~A: Well, if I put it in childfriendly words, they mostly complain about me being mean, but there wouldn’t really be a story if I didn’t throw them into situations they hate. Also, they tend to give me suggestions on things they want to do themselves or to each other, depending on the character.. Then there’s the comments on stuff I do or should do in RL, but those aren’t as important.

Me: That sounds somewhat ominous xP Seeing their voices seem to be so loud, they must’ve been pretty carefully made. Do you put a lot of thoughts into your characters as you bring them to life?

~A: I get a basic idea for a character, then they basically develop themselves, so I don’t actaully have to put that much thought into them. I try to make them as consistent as possible, making their personalities fit their histories, or vice versa.. Also, I don’t like my characters getting too perfect, goodie-goodie or evil. I prefer a nice healthy mix.

Me: I know from experience that’s not always so simple. What do you think is the hardest thing to do when creating a character?

~A: The hardest thing for me is to hold back. I want the character to be unique and awesome and übercool, but I know that when you overdo it you just end up with a lame, overpowered character. The character needs to be realistic, or else it just looks like I as an author is trying way too hard. Some of my favorite characters are nothing else than average humans, quite boring at first, but with the potential to develop into somehting completely different.

Me: So, what do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind? As in, do you have some advice for others struggling to create their characters?

~A: Let your characters come to you, not the other way around. They’ll tell you who they are and what they will and will not do. Listening to them is the best way to keep them consistent. Also, try to keep the characters as relistic as possible. Super-awesome heroes are overdone, and so are mastervillains.

Me: Brilliant. Thank you very much, it’s been a pleasure talking to you (as always). Feel free to stop by some time again 😉

~A: I don’t know if I dare xD But sure, see you 😉

Thanks again to Alvie, whose latest piece of writing you can find here …and now I have a few questions for all you nice readers out there. What are your experiences with creating characters? What is it that you think makes a character special, and what it the biggest challenge for you when making one?

Feel free to leave a link to a story, chapter or poem you wrote, which shows a bit of your character-creating talents!

Until the next time~

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