I guess we all have our own way of developing fictional characters. Mine is talking to them, in everyday situations, so I can hear what they say, how they say it, and understanding why they say what they do.
I sat down and had a 'virtual' cup of coffee with Tessa Howard, the main character of Embers of the Sun, just before I started to write the story. It was a good way to get to know Tessa...
I didn't stop and think about the questions, or answers, I let it all just flow wherever it wanted to go. Follows are the notes I made of that interview.
CM: Thanks for coming today, Tessa.
TH: I'm really pleased you asked me.
CM: Would you tell me a little bit about yourself?
TH: Sure. I just finished University, studying to be a school teacher. I've just received an offer to teach at a little seaside village! I am so excited!
CM: Congratulations! You enjoy the beach?
TH: Yes, I've been going to the beach for holidays my entire life. My mother loves the coast which is why I'm so excited about the job. My parents will be able to come and visit whenever they want to.
CM: So, you're close to your mum and dad?
TH: Yes, very. I'm an only child.
CM: Your boyfriend will miss you after you leave, no doubt.
TH: I don't have a boyfriend. I've been too busy studying to have a serious relationship. My best friend, Natalie, thinks I'm weird but... well, maybe I just haven't met the right person.
CM: Do you believe in fate, Tessa?
TH: No, not at all. I make my own decisions. I'm responsible for my actions. Believing in fate is for people who don't want to accept responsibility, or maybe they just can't, and it's easier to put it down to fate.
CM: What if everything that happens, happens for a reason? Just one long series of events that are all interconnected?
TH: If that was the case, then we would never need to make a decision, things would just happen. I haven't got time to sit around and just wait.
CM: Ah! The impatience of being young.
CM: So, you think you might meet some handsome surfer at your new home on the coast?
TH: It would be great to meet someone. I'm going to miss my family, and my friend Natalie, but I usually make new friends pretty quickly.
CM: A summer romance, huh? Before you start your new job?
TH: Only if it's meant to be...
CM: I thought you didn't believe in fate?
TH: I don't. But doesn't everyone have a soul mate, just waiting for their paths to cross?
I wrapped up the interview at that exact moment... I had a story to go write!