Character is possibly the most important aspect of story to me (despite my obsession with worldbuilding). It is the #1 thing that will make me put down a book. If there aren't any characters that I care about, I won't read. So it's vital to me that I nail my characters. Thus this blogfest is a perfect exercise for me.
Now, I have two MCs in my WIP and I wasn't sure which one to apply this little questionaire to. I decided in the end to go with the more interesting one to post here publicly and work on the other in private. So I will be interrogating Kamose. You might remember him from the excerpt I posted for the Power of Tension blogfest. Kamose is a priest of Re who lives in the fictional land of Akhet which is, quite obviously, based on Ancient Egypt. I am asking him these questions on the day before my story begins.
Now, Kamose, pull up a couch, make yourself comfortable and reveal to me your innermost thoughts.
What is your greatest fear?
Kamose looks surprised and then laughs.
Fear? Fear is for the little people, ants crawling across the surface of the world. The farmers. They fear the lack of flood. They fear the flood too, for sometimes is overwhelms the land. They fear everything and their little lives are bounded by it. What need a priest of the great god fear?
There must be something.
Kamose looks at me in pity.
For you it may be so. You are trapped in your meager existence. You have not seen the glories that I have, you know nothing of the wonders I know. You will never have the power that lives in my body, you will never be a maker of history. I pity you, but I do not fear. How can one such as I fear?
Fine then, you arrogant... No, deep breaths. Don't get frustrated by your own character.
What do you mean, "character"?
Nothing. Really. Let's just move on. What is your greatest accomplishment?
Kamose looks angry now.
You dare ask me to share with you such secrets?
Secrets? Why should it be secret?
Kamose's eyes narrow.
Who sent you? Who told you to ask me that?
Er, Elizabeth Mueller.
I do not recognize that name.
No, you wouldn't.
Are you insulting my knowledge? You think that one such as I does not know all the important personages of the land?
No, no, of course not. Look, are you going to answer the question?
Kamose calms and lays back down on the couch.
You are fortunate that you did not ask me this question a day from now. I would have been forced to dispose of you.
Hey, now! I'm your creator!
Foolish woman, Re is my creator, and that will not stop me from...
Kamose grows suddenly quiet.
My greatest accomplishment, until this moment, has been gathering the knowledge of the Twelve Hours of the Night. I will tell you no more.
All right, last question. What is your biggest regret?
Kamose's face, wonderfully expressive until now, becomes cold and hard as stone.
I... I have no regrets. My life has taken me exactly where I wanted to go.
I don't believe you. You're hiding something, but you can't hide from me.
Kamose stares at the ceiling, breathing hard. I can tell he is trying to maintain control, but something, some memory perhaps, is quickly making him lose it.
I... came to the temple as an orphan. A priest of Iunu, the sacred isle, was in the city gathering up the orphaned children to be dedicated to the service of Re. I wanted to go with them, I wanted to live in the House of Life and to gain the knowledge therein. So... I killed my parents and my younger brother. I made myself an orphan to become a priest.
Wow. That's... uh, wow.
Kamose jumps up from the couch, his face now thunderous.
Wretched woman! How did you make me tell you these things? Leave me! Leave me before it's too late.
There is a murderous gleam in his eye and I almost fear for my life before I remember that he is my creation. I stare him down until he flees.
Goodbye for now, Kamose. We will meet again soon.
Whew. That was interesting. We both just learned things about that character that I never knew before. I can tell this is a very useful exercise. I'm going to go try it on all my other characters...