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.
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!