Emily Hanlon gives 50 questions to ask from your character in her three part series "interviewing your character" in her blog "Fiction Writing - The Passionate Journey"
Interview I, II and III
An interview with the dashingly handsome private detective Dewain Cavish.
How old are you?
What kind of work do you do?
Usually find lost objects... or people. Sometimes I follow husbands or wives who do things they shouldn't be doing.
Are you married?
No, no... (laughs)
Why do you think that is? A charming fellow like you should have plenty of opportunities.
Just haven't found anyone who would stand up with me. I might be a charming fellow, as you put it, but that's not all there is to marriage. One shouldn't marry to have something pretty to look at. You can look for free.
Do you have any children?
Are you sure of that?
So you live in celibacy?
You could say so. It sounds a bit... too holy to me, but I don't have... engage into carnal relationships.
May I ask why?
Too much fuzz. Women tend to want too much. I know plenty to know this, I was brought up by women. My mother was a whore and I grew up in a whorehouse, running errands when I was old enough to do that, then I started watching the door, when old Hackett grew too old... and the ladies talked quite freely of all kinds of stuff around me, even when I was too little to understand what they were talking about. I suppose growing up in that environment made sex... distasteful. I didn't want to be one of these guys following their dick.
Are you in a good relationship to your spouse or lover?
As said, I have none. But I have several female friends and I am in a good relationship with them.
Have you ever been unfaithful?
No. I appreciate friendship and loyalty over everything else here in life. I would never betray my friends.
Has your partner ever been unfaithful?
Not that I know of. If a friend fails me, he is no friend of mine, and has apparently never been. It's just to move on and understand that he wasn't the person I thought he was.
What kinds of things make you angry?
Not much, anymore.
I used to get angry at anything when I was young... especially the feeling of powerlessness. When the thugs beat up old Hackett, for example, and I was too small and weak and dumb to help. Getting beaten up. Not being able to stop others from being beaten up. Not being able to beat up the thugs.
Unfairness... when the rich had food and we had none... or good shoes. And they acted as if it was as it was supposed to be that way. Sanctimony. The priest quoting the Bible as justification to why Molly died of hunger 100 yards from a restaurant where the rich were feeding good food to their pugs and poodles... one of them had once stopped Molly from patting her pug, because she said Molly was disgusting... her overfed, ugly pug. I hate pugs.
I despise the ladies asking me to track their spoiled dogs and cats, but they do pay well, and it's not the wretched animals' fault that they are owned by these insensitive, egoistic idiots...
I saw once a poodle, really smart dog that was. Did all kinds of tricks and earned money to his master. He got to eat in that restaurant, because the guests liked seeing the dog dance and do tricks. That was a good dog.
I have never seen a pug earn one penny to any poor sod, on the contrary.
How do you express that anger?
I get active, aggressive... When I was young, I cried a lot. I used to rage and break things. I stoned the windows of that --- restaurant. I tried to steal the pug, I would have drowned it. I'm kind of happy that I didn't succeed, it wasn't the dog's fault. I should have drowned his owner instead.
Did you get any consequences of breaking the windows?
No, they never caught me. One street boy is like another.
You’re in a scene with someone who is making you very angry. Why? What’s making you angry?
They threaten Helen. I'm afraid for Helen. I wouldn't mind if they did anything to me, but they may not hurt Helen, never, in any way, under any circumstances. I cannot do anything, I would give them the darned sapphire, but it's Helen's, and therefore her decision.
What memory does the scene bring up?
Old Hackett... Molly... all the times when people misused their power, strength, status, might... I want to tear up these thugs throats.
What memory does the memory bring up?
Describe something really bad you once did.
Weird questions. I hope you ask the opposite site as well.
Something bad I did... I have been quite a good boy all my life. Can't think of anything.
Don't you think breaking the windows was a bad thing?
No. I should have burned the place. Force open their doors so poor people get to eat.
Have you done something else similar to that?
Well... one has done one's part in life... you mean illegal with "bad", huh?
Let's say I do. Describe something illegal you once did.
I hunted down the thugs who beat up old Hackett and killed them. That's illegal but wouldn't be if the society was any more fair. Everyone's better off with those men, even their families. I took care of their children and wives, until the kids were good enough to take care of their mothers themselves. It's not their fault either that their husbands and fathers were who they were, and if I hadn't, the kids would have grown up to be exactly like their fathers. Now they are good people.