Writing Wednesday: What Do They Know?

Goals marched onwards last week: 3 blog posts. Stories cycling back to market as able. My next release date is in two days, and “Cellfishness” is already staged as a preorder, and FREE on Smashwords with a coupon (see below.)

I commented on others’ blogs, albeit sparingly (I still haven’t seen any attempts to comment on my blog, so I’m not sure whether I have it set right…)

I had a good week of writing – 2731 words; again, all of this was in character interviews, with more of the minor characters getting to have their say (and yes, I’m really listening and learning.) Swordsmaster remains at 72,845 words – I expect that will change later this week as I finish interviewing (until the next wave of characters speaks up) and get back to rewriting and revising.


So, what exactly is a character interview supposed to be about? I have only had a vague idea in my mind (yes, Bill, that’s where ideas reside, especially the vague ones), from hearing other writers mention interviewing their characters, and as I’ve been spending more and more time in my version of the exercise, I’ve begun to worry that I might be abusing the process just to keep my word-count up. But there is a value to it that goes beyond putting words on a page.

Once I decided that my characters were too flat, I began the process of interviewing them, but having never done character interviews, I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I looked in OSC’s Character and Viewpoint and found no particular reference to character interviews (I was surprised), so I dug around online and found enough evidence to be certain that the purpose of the character interview is for the author to get to know their characters. There were various suggestions about what to ask the characters, but I prefer a more free-wheeling approach – just start asking about their place in the world, the people they know, and follow the conversation wherever it leads (yes – it is a conversation – between me and these other… people. Having someone different in your head to talk with helps to remove the stigma of just talking to yourself…) So, I’ve been interviewing my characters – any and every one that makes an appearance as more than just part of a crowd. Even the nameless ones (who wind up with names once I talk to them.) I’ve been getting to know them, but that’s not all. They are telling me things about the world of Swordsmaster that I didn’t know, how things work, the relationship between the various peoples, and the people that matter to them, and the cast of characters is swelling with their addition.

It may very well be that the character interview isn’t intended as a world-building tool, but that’s what it’s turned into for me. After all – who knows the world better than the characters who live in it? Just saying…


CellfishnessCover2Coming up this week – “Cellfishness”:

We all think we’re singularly exceptional, don’t we? Especially in a society where less is considered more. See Miss Ribo try to keep her students from getting the wrong ideas in biology class.

“Cellfishness” is a short, speculative fiction, and is available for preorder now on Smashwords, and FREE if you use coupon code DC98J here:  https://www.smashwords.com/upload/details/807912

The story is also available on Amazon here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BQK4NXL


CollectionNext3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent publication The Next Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND’ – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):  https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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