Interview With A Protagonist

Protagonist: Look, I hope you know I’m here unwillingly. I still have several scenes to appear in today, and if I’m a no-show, things are really going down.

Me: Exactly what I want to talk to you about.

[Protagonist glowers at the wall.]

Me: Let’s pretend for a few minutes that we’ve never met. What is something you would like the reader to remember about you?

Protagonist: That I survived.

Me: [stares at notebook]

Protagonist: I do survive, right?

Me: Um, let’s not discuss spoilers. [flips hastily through notebook] Here on your resume [consults paper], it says you are skilled in martial arts. Tell us a little about that.

Protagonist: You thought it would be cool. I don’t know why.

Me: And you think differently?

Protagonist: Martial arts? Seriously? It doesn’t make sense for my background, nor does it appear in the storyline until the climax. I have this “skill” just because it’s convenient for you.

[Protagonist lapses into moody silence.]

Me [hastily]: At least it makes the ending powerful.

Protagonist: It would be, if you listened to me. You get so wrapped up in what “has” to happen, you miss the obvious thing: I want the story to turn out differently.

Me: Um. . .

Protagonist: Hey, it’s your story. Not mine. You’ve proved that time and time again.

Me [changes subject]: Elena. Why don’t we tell the readers a little bit about your romance with Elena?

Protagonist: You mean your romance.

[awkward pause]

Protagonist: You call us “a perfect match.” Of course we are. You created us to be together. But sometimes. . . I wish I could make my own choices. And that choice wouldn’t be Elena. No matter how much you shove us together.

Me [hesitantly]: Do you want me to. . .eliminate her?

[Protagonist looks horrified.]

Me: Cancelling that last question.

Protagonist [mutters]: Like you haven’t killed enough people I love.

Me: I have a story to tell. It’s not anything personal.

Protagonist: I’m just saying. . .if you would stop trying to force things, maybe the plot would come together naturally.

Protagonist [stands]: Why don’t I come back when you’re ready to listen to me.

Me: Seriously? But. . . I don’t have time to wait and listen!

Protagonist [looks back at me]: Yeah, I think we’ve found your problem.


How would your protagonist react to an interview? Share in the comments! 


10 thoughts on “Interview With A Protagonist

Add yours

  1. This was really fun to read! I loved the personification of the protagonist, and how they encourage the writer to take a minute to think about how the story should unfold rather than trying to force it. It made me think what my characters would say to me if I ever interviewed them. Thank you for such an amazing piece, can’t wait for more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Found you on Instagram and followed your blog here. This was an entertaining exchange to read. In fact, I have been running a dialogue like this for each of my character sketches in Scrivener as I have developed my novel. It makes it much easier to write how characters proceed. In a certain essence, we have god-like power over story. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Stranger Than Fiction with Will Ferrell but that’s what this reminds me of. Again, l loved reading this. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is why your writing blog is SO fun to read. I loved that dialogue and that not a bit of it was wasted. Concise and pointed. Girl, you’re good.

    Gosh. Now I wonder what Jadyn would say if she and I sat down to discuss her starring role in Teal Paisley Tights. Eep.

    Liked by 1 person

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