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Interview with a Character, part 2

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Early in our blogsphere days Lizette wrote about interviewing a character from her WIP. I'm trying to write NaNo this month, and getting to know my characters better is critical to writing an engaging story (and hard because even though I've been thinking through this novel for a while, writing this month is insane!). I'm going to try this method, it's a fun way to get into my character; his name is Durrani, Zainulabuddin Durrani. He's from Afghanistan, and he recently arrived in the US on a Special Immigrant Visa. He worked for five years for the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, until it became dangerous for him to remain in-country. Too many people knew him and his family, and knew that he was helping the Americans; he is anti-Taliban. He's brought with him his wife and two of his seven living children (aged 12 and 15). All the other children are too old to accompany him. Durrani (as he prefers to be called) is in his early 60's, with a thick shock of black hair and eyebrows, and a degree in Chemical Science from the University of Karachi. Miriam meets Mr. Durrani at the airport, where she finds him struggling to fill out forms for their lost luggage (yes, all four suitcases, gone). Everything that happens there is a mad rush, but if they'd had a leisurely interview right then, this might be what it sounded like.

Miriam (M): Hello, my name is Miriam Aaronson. I volunteer at AIM, American Immigrant Management, and I'm here to help you and bring you to your new apartment. It looks like you are having some trouble. Let's take a seat for a moment and you can relax.

Durrani (D): Thank you so much. It would be lovely if we could find some tea, for my family.

Miriam (M): Of course! {Miriam whistles and a table for five is set for them between luggage carousels 4 and 5, a whistling tea pot arrives, 5 mugs, and tea, cakes, and a bowl of fruit.}

Durrani (D): How perfect! Thank you so much, Miriam Aaronson. I am Durrani. Thank you for coming to pick us up!

Miriam (M): It is my pleasure. Let me ask you, how was the flight to get here?

Durrani (D): It was actually quite long. The first leg was not so terrible, we were able to stop and stretch our legs in Sofia Bulgaria. The second flight was longer, and more crowded I think, on the plane.

Miriam (M): Oh that's too bad. It is a long way from Kabul to the US!

Durrani (D): Yes. Now that we're here, well, we'd like to have our luggage back. {Both children look over and nod vigorously.}

Miriam (M): I'm sure. Tell me, what made you decide to come to the US? You had a choice of countries like Australia, Germany, and Great Briton?

Durrani (D):Yes, we can choose. USA is a good choice, it is a very big place with a lot of opportunities. My kids like coming here, I think, more than anywhere else.

Miriam (M): Did they have a choice, in coming here or staying?

Durrani (D): Choice? I think they have come to stay with their parents, yes?

Miriam (M): Of course! It must have been hard to leave your other children.

Durrani (D): Very hard. I am not so young, I have grandchildren in Kabul as well. Five. {Durrani pulls out his phone and starts to whip through and show pictures of the grandchildren}

Miriam (M): Oh they're beautiful, thank you! {Khara takes an interest in the photos, and leans in to hear them talking, though she does not understand a word of the English.} Do you think you'll ever get back to visit?

Durrani (D): Yes. I'll get there to visit. I may wait a few years, but I will go back to see my brothers and everyone. I have a lot of family!

Miriam (M): Wonderful! I'm so glad you're here, Mr. Durrani! Welcome!

Hmmm...I think if I kept going I'd get to know this fellow better, his motivations, the way his mind works. I honestly could go on for a long time, I enjoy talking with Durrani so much. As an exercise, it definitely has benefits. Give it a shot, get to know your characters from a new angle.

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