An interview with my character Michelle

Hi all.  Seeing as I didn’t have anything else to share with you this week, I thought I’d do another character interview.  This time, however, it’s with a character from my new as-yet-untitled WIP, which is a romance about a young woman working as a teacher in a secondary school (11 to 16 yr olds).

The character’s name is Michelle and she’s my MC Rebecca’s closest friend.  However they’ve fallen out because Michelle has complained to Rebecca that she’s never around anymore for her friends.  She’s pretty much told Rebecca that she feels teaching can’t be that much of a tiring job; see here for last week’s WIPpet Wednesday to read Rebecca’ s mother’s attitude.

Needless to say Rebecca isn’t exactly impressed by Michelle’s attitude.  But now, in my interview with her, it’s Michelle’s chance to give her side to the argument.  This doesn’t relate to the date (shock, horror) but I hope you enjoy it!!

Me: Hi Michelle.  Thanks for agreeing to meet with me. 

Michelle: It’s my pleasure.  Anyone who’s a friend of Rebecca is a friend of mine.

Me: Thank you.  Well, as I mentioned in our phone conversation, I wanted to talk to you about your relationship with Rebecca.  I’m particularly interested to learn about how you two have been getting on since she started her teaching job.

Michelle: (sighs and flicks hair back) It’s not been easy.  For either of us.  I know what Rebecca will tell you – if she hasn’t already – that she’s working so hard at her teaching job and none of us understand that.  I’ve had an earful from her already about not appreciating her enough and so on and so on.

Me: So you do understand then, and she’s just making a big deal out of nothing?

Michelle: Yes… um, no that’s not fair.  Look, the thing you’ve got to understand about me and Becs is that we’ve known each other for a long time.  So we’ve had the odd falling out now and then as all friends do.  But this time around it feels different, like Becs is different.  I feel like I’m not allowed to complain about the fact that she’s hardly ever around for her friends.

Me: (nodding) It sounds like you’re no longer on the same page.

Michelle: Exactly.  And I don’t know what to do about it, how to return our friendship to what it was before she started her job.

Me: Maybe Rebecca feels that you’re underestimating all the work that she has to do?  I mean I’ve heard from others in the teaching profession that it’s not a nine to five job, that teachers have to take a load of work home with them…

Michelle: (snaps) Is that what she’s told you then?  That I’m ‘underestimating’ her?  She’s one to talk.  I have a very demanding job myself you know.  But I suppose working day in day out managing a call centre isn’t very demanding by her standards? 

Me: (holds hands up) I’m sorry, Michelle, I meant no offence.  The two of you are obviously at a bad place in your friendship right now and the last thing I want to do is make it worse. (I pause) Maybe you and Rebecca should think about finding a common ground, you know, something you could talk about that’s non work related?

Michelle: (nods) That might be a good idea. (sighs) I would hate to lose my friendship with Becs, you know.  That would just be the worst thing that could happen out of all of this.

Me: I’m sure that won’t happen.  Why don’t you just call her again, maybe invite her out for a coffee and have a proper talk?

Michelle: (doubtfully) I could try.  But I’m not sure she’d be interested, she’d probably just say she was busy or something.

Me: Well you never know until you try.

Michelle: That’s true.

Me: How are Susie and Karen getting on with Rebecca these days?

Michelle: About the same as me I think, although they’re not as close to her as I am.  (pauses) I am quite a demanding person, in that I demand a lot from my friends.  I expect them to be loyal to me and to be there for me when I need them, even if it’s just a quick phone call for advice.  But I do give a lot back; I try to be a loyal friend myself and I care about my friends.  I care about Rebecca – maybe she thinks otherwise, but I do.

Me: (nodding) OK, well I don’t think I had anything else I wanted to talk to you about.  Only, I just want to say again – don’t give up on your friendship with Rebecca.  She needs your friendship; I’ve only known her a little while, but I can tell that from the way she talks about you and your falling out.  It’s like she’s bereft.

Michelle: (reddens a little) Oh.  Well that’s good to know.  I have missed her… I’ll call her again.

Me: You do that.

Michelle: (nods and reaches over to shake my hand) Thank you very much for your advice.  It’s so helpful.  Maybe I’ll see you around.

Me: I’m sure you will.

If you would like to get involved with WIPpet Wednesday, all you need to do is post something writing-related on your blog.  It should ideally relate in some way to the date, but don’t worry if not!  Then add your name to this.

Thanks goes to the Queen of Monkeys herself K. L. Schwengel.

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20 thoughts on “An interview with my character Michelle

  1. Ooh, that’s interesting. I can see her point if she has expectations from her friends and feels like now Rebecca’s not delivering the way she used to. It sounds to me like she needs to use patience and empathy with Rebecca to get to what’s underlying the change in their friendship. It’s rarely about busyness or job stress. This is a great interview, and I have a pretty good sense of Michelle’s character.

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    • I wasn’t intending to have Michelle and Rebecca falling out for anything other than the busyness/job stress etc. But now you’ve inspired me and I might just make it to be something more… :)

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  2. It sounds like they need to start a book or movie club. :-) This tid-bit made me think of my husband and I trying to go on a date. “Remember, we’re not allowed to talk about kids or work.” “Oh, that’s right!” … *crickets chirping* We finally figured out to do the movie BEFORE dinner so we’d have something to talk about. :-P

    Also, I think it’s common for people to think they have a really hard job. It’s almost vogue to be the busiest, or the most stressed out, or have the most intolerable boss, etc. (Personally, i think all of those things have more to do with attitude than reality the great majority of the time.) I see this coming out with Michelle and Rebecca. It’s a nice touch. :-)

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    • Yes I think you’re right, ReGi. A lot of people claim to have a really hard job, but then I think many if not most people have a hard job at times.

      And I think there’s a lot of truth in what you say about attitude. If we take a different approach to stress then we could find it a lot easier to cope with maybe. :)

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    • Thanks Ruth. Yes, Rebecca and Michelle are at odds with each other at the moment, but if they took a step back from their situation and looked at it dispassionately, then they’d see that it’s not that big a deal!

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  3. Like Amy, I see the falling out as a symptom of more than just being busy. A lot of times people can ignore the little annoyances that come up in a relationship with the help of fun “hang out and party” time. But when things get extra busy, there is a tendency for people to put aside the fun things ad save their get-togethers for when they “need” to see their friends. And that puts a LOT of pressure on a relationship, friend, marital, etc…

    I’m going to have to do a character interview one of these days. *shudders* That’s going to be fun to do…

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    • That’s interesting what you say Eden. I think there’s definitely an element of that here – that Rebecca and Michelle’s relationship is struggling to survive because it’s never been tested before in this way – Rebecca hasn’t been as busy before, not to the extent she is now anyway.

      Of course, Rebecca being my MC I see things more from her point of view than her friends, but everyone’s comments on this piece are making me see things a little more from Michelle’s POV. :) And I’d be very interested to read a character interview of yours one day.

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