So as I’m working on editing my manuscript, one of the things I’ve noticed is that my characters’ personalities change over the course of my draft, and not because of character growth. (This is why editing exists.) So in an effort to nail down who my characters are and what they are all about, I figured I should sit them down and interview them as a writing exercise. Below are the results of my interview of my main character Mage Youngtalon.
Hello, Mage. Thanks for meeting with me today.
So wow, a lot has happened to you and you’ve achieved quite a bit for your age. How old are you exactly?
I’m 15, almost 16. I know a lot of people think I’m younger.
Yeah I was going to say, you look-
I was going to say 13…ish.
So tell me about your life so far. Growing up, where did you live?
I lived in the kingdom of Delano, in the village of Andover. I’ve lived there as long as I can remember.
What is Andover like?
Well it’s an industrial town because of the Kingdom Laboratory. Most of the people who live there are connected to the Laboratory work in some way. It’s where most of the country’s scientific breakthroughs are made. Inventions. Technological advances. Research. Things like that. My father, Dr. Talon Youngbranch, was the Mechanist, which is the title for the lead scientist there.
Wow, and did you also work at the Lab?
Not… officially. *grins* Technically I’m still too young to work there, but Papa tends to bring work home with him and I tend to help. It was my hope to work alongside him when I came of age and eventually take over as Mechanist for him when he retired.
So I noticed your last name is Youngtalon but your father’s name is Talon Youngbranch.
Yeah… that’s how sirenames work. I’m my father’s son… so Young-Talon.
So your grandfather’s name was Branch?
So, what about the rest of your family? Your mother? Do you have siblings?
My mother died when I was really little, I don’t really remember her, but her name was Storm. The name suited her very well, according to my Papa. Apparently my older sister Sketch takes after her quite a bit.
Tell me about Sketch.
Well we’re very close. She’s my only sibling and basically runs the household. Papa and I tend to be absent minded. She really does a lot to keep our home in order and remind us to eat food and bathe occasionally. I really don’t know what Papa and I would do without her.
So how old is Sketch?
Oh… she just came of age. She’s 18.
You don’t look very happy about that.
Sketch is… very pretty. And I’m not just saying that because I’m her brother. At least half the boys in the village think they are in love with her. The thing is, I grew up with most of these boys. Let’s just say there aren’t many I’d approve of.
On top of that, Sketch has such an outgoing personality, a lot of the boys tend to think she is flirting when she isn’t. It’s the sort of thing that gets her into trouble.
Sounds like you are pretty protective of your sister.
You could say that.
So anything else about your home life growing up? Did you have a best friend?
Not really. When I was really little I played a lot with a neighbor boy. I don’t even remember his name. Chip maybe? But for the most part, I’d say Methuselah is my best friend.
My pet dragon. He’s a purplish red color. Likes to sit on my shoulder most of the time. He’s pretty temperamental and likes to get in the way when I’m working on something. Lately I’ve been trying to train him, but dragons are not as trainable as say a dog or a griffin.
What sorts of things are you trying to train him to do?
Well one of the first things I was hoping he could do is warn me of people approaching.
That’s interesting, what do you hope that will help with?
Well, I’m currently training to be a spy, so I can think of multiple instances where it would be nice to have a heads up about an approaching person.
You are an inventor who is training to be a spy?
Because it’s the only way to learn the skills needed to protect my sister.
From the trouble you mentioned earlier?
But don’t spies normally work for someone else? Like an organization or a kingdom? How does that help your sister? Wouldn’t that keep you away from her?
*grumbling* It’s my best option right now. I’m being offered some protection while training and I can’t help Sketch if I’m dead.
Protection from whom?
You mean you don’t want to talk about it.
That’s what I said.
Well I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Last question, if you could tell your author anything, what would it be?
*Long awkward pause while he thinks*
I guess I would ask the author to give Sketch a break for once. She’s been through enough as it is.
(Ouch.) Well that’s all the time we have for today. Thanks again, Mage.