This is a typical exercise I perform whenever I start to formulate characters. The questions are asked by a therapist or analyst of the sorts that tries to figure out the character in a nutshell.
Q: (shakes hand) Nice to meet you…(checks file) Remington Hardy. Please take a seat.
A: Thanks. (sits down and looks around the office. Clears throat.) Erm thanks for, uh agreeing to see me.
Q: Not a problem. So tell me a little about yourself before we discuss the issue at hand.
A: (blows out breath that he was holding in) Um, sure. I’m Remington Hardy but mostly everyone calls me Rem or Remy, either one works you know? I’m studying Computer Science with a minor in Italian at university. So, uh… (licks lips) do I need to say anything else?
Q: I think that will do. So Remy, please tell me about your problem.
A: (begins fiddling with his fingers and eyes look down. Eyes shift to hands moving and stay fixated as he begins to speak) It, it’s my professor, Dr. Vientler. She uh, she uh (pulls glasses off and begins to clean them) talks to me a lot in class or um, I always happen to run into her at the strangest places. A few days ago, she was at this shady bar not far from campus and she was, really, I mean really drunk. (puts glasses back on) I ended up driving her back to her place.
Q: That doesn’t seem too out of place.
A: (sighs and rolls shoulders back) Yeah that’s where it ends. She gets out of the car and says something about staying a little longer. I wish you could have seen how fast I moved to get out of there.
Q: How old is she?
A: 34 sir. And I’m only 19.
Q: That’s quite a gap.
A: (slumps shoulders) Yeah I know. (looks out the window for a few moments) Guess Aunt Willa wasn’t kidding about women doing crazy things.
Q: Is she the one that is recommending therapy for you from me?
A: (shakes head no fiercely) No, oh no sir, this is uh, my doing. It’s just, ah Hell with it, weird. This is gonna sound really stupid but I’ve never done it with a girl. But hey, this is the first time I’ve been in the same proximity as a bunch of attractive women.
Q: (consults notes from file) Yes it says you attended Boroughs Preparatory Academy for Boys until 8th grade and Quakestone Private for high school.
A: My aunt’s idea. She told me that my mom was screwed when she had me and dying was the best decision she ever made since her screw up. She’s called my mom all sorts of things.
Q: Feuding personalities I take it?
A: I think it stems deeper than that. Aunt Willa is all pomp and circumstance whereas I think my mom was more of a free spirit. My aunt never got married but then again, she’s kinda prickly so who would marry her? She acts like I’m the evil spawn of her sister and that I have to be raised properly.
Q: How did she come to let you attend a co-ed university?
A: (threads fingers together and sags shoulders) She didn’t really. I picked a school that had a great Computer Science program and it happened to be co-ed. She cut me off and screamed at me that I better not turn into some crazed sex maniac when I meet the girls.
Q: I see. (writes notes: Subject seems to have been suppressing romantic feelings and lacks confidence in his interactions with the opposite sex. Will need to continue seeing for a few more sessions.) Going back to your professor, do you like her?
A: Not…really. I think she likes me. But you know, professors can’t date students, right?
Q: Of course. Is there anyone else in your life that you might be attracted to?
A: Well not attracted to sir, but I did befriend my new neighbor. Her name’s Kendall – she just moved in across the hall from me to get away from a bad roommate.
Q: How did you two meet?
A: I helped her carry in her stuff when she came in.
Q: Is there a reason why you are not romantically attracted to her?
A: Look sir, I don’t know what to make of her. She has lots of confidence, that’s for sure. But there are times where she’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe with some tough types, like the jerk who lives above her. Last week they got into a shouting match about the noise level in the building. He keeps blasting music in his apartment and lots of girls seem to enter and leave his room. All of the girls look angry or miserable.
Q: I see.