Something Interesting

Finding time to write is a struggle for all of us, whether published, unpublished, soon-to-be-published, self-published, fanfic writers, blogging, even writing in one’s journal. (I have trouble with this last one, especially). So, while I was not writing today (and not doing the dishes, and not imposing order in the art room, and not doing the many other things I need to do today) I found this helpful list of ways to help you use the writing time you’ve stolen from the rest of your life to actually write.

Caveat: I haven’t tried any of these tips yet, but they do make sense.

Character Interview: 15 Questions With Annaliese

Today, I’m going to speak with Annaliese about college, life, and various other things. Annaliese isn’t a member of the coven (yet); she’s Shelley’s roommate and they are having difficulty reconciling their personalities. Annaliese is focused, introverted, shy, and studious where Shelley is light-hearted, appears frivolous, and gregarious.

Annaliese is early, as expected, already waiting in the student center when I arrive. She sits straight in her chair, feet flat, hands folded. I wave when I enter; she acknowledges me with a nod, and watches as I make my way over and take a seat. She’s silent while I dig out my notebook and pen, still watching as I settle into my chair. Her eyes are large, vibrantly green, wide-set, and she doesn’t blink often. Her sable hair is braided into a single strand, utilitarian, the tip brushing the small of her back. Her hair is so thick the gathering at the nape of her neck has to be an inch or more across. Shelley has said that Annaliese has the most gorgeous hair she’s ever seen; when it’s loose, there are highlights in it, almost like the dapples on a black jaguar. Annaliese’s nose is straight, her lips dark and thin, her teeth are very white. She rarely smiles. She’s Caucasian, and her skin is the color of ivory. She doesn’t wear makeup or perfume.

So, I begin:

ME: What is your full name?

AGW: Annaliese Gabriele Wolff

ME: What brought you to GLU?

AGW: Academics

ME: What’s your major?

AGW: History; I hope to eventually obtain a Ph.D. in medieval history, with my thesis being a study of Charlemagne’s empire. I’m debating a minor in English.

ME: Why did you pick that major and/or minor?

AGW: I have a love of history and being of Frankish descent, I find Charlemagne fascinating. For the English, I enjoy critical writing. But I’m not sure I’ll actually go with an English minor yet. It will depend on the workload for my major. I have to excel there, as I want to pursue an advanced degree.

ME: Other than classes, what do you do?

AGW: With my class load, I don’t have much time to do anything except study.

She seems at ease, if a bit terse, discussing her classes, her workload, school, studies, and her ambition to achieve an advanced degree. However, the when I begin the next set of more personal questions, Annaliese is less comfortable speaking about herself. She controls her urge to fidget, except for the fingernail that she taps in a slow, constant rhythm, like a metronome or a cat’s tail twitching.

I look at her hands. I would have thought that someone as practical as Annaliese would keep her nails cut short, but I was wrong. She wears her nails long, extending past the ends of her fingers; the nails are oval, sturdy, and hard.

I ask the next set of questions. Her answers are shorter, and she’s visibly relieved when the interview is complete.

ME: Do you have a talent or special ability that most don’t have?

AGW: Yes.

ME: What talent do you wish you had?

AGW: I wish I could draw.

ME: What makes you laugh?

AGW: Bugs Bunny. I collect the old cartoons on DVD.

ME: What makes you angry?

AGW: Deliberate, willful, stupidity.

ME: What is your pet peeve?

AGW: Laziness.

ME: What is one thing you’d wish you known when you were younger?

AGW: Hedgehogs don’t play well with others.

**Annaliese actually pauses a moment to consider this question, and the answer is accompanied by a fleeting smile, as though the answer calls to mind a favorite old memory.**

ME: Where is your favorite vacation spot?

AGW: The beach.

ME: What do you dance to when no one is watching?

AGW: I don’t dance. Except sometimes. To the Bee Gees.

ME: What is your fondest wish or heart’s desire?

AGW: Freedom.

ME: How would you describe yourself – physically, intellectually, etc.?

AGW: Tall, fit, smart, driven, focused and determined.

Next blog post will be by Mickie.

Mickie says: This is a neat idea, as it gives James and me some insight to the character of Annaliese. Even though she will not be a focal point of any of the books I’ll be writing, I will need to work her in as our stories progress. This will help make sure we can give our shared characters the same voice and personality without compromising our own styles.

James says: Annaliese is going to be one of the focal characters when I get around to writing book #6 of this series. This interview is a great launching point for what I’ll be doing with the character. This is one thing I’m finding challenging and enjoyable about writing this series; this character was created by Sid, yet I’m the one who is going to write her story. I’ve never before worked like that, and it’s forcing me to approach the character in ways I’ve not done before.