I just finished the first draft of my current work in progress. As is typical for me, I like to become more familiar with the less filled-out characters before heading into the second draft. I usually do a sort of interview with them, where they tell me a little about themselves and fill in some of the blanks. I do this while typing the conversation, and if I’m lucky, I might get a bonus scene out of the discussion.

I did a couple of characters, and things were going great until I got to one of the antagonists. She is probably the most complex character in the story. I already had a lot of her background information, but I just wanted to hear her voice and fill in a few holes. But when I started the interview, she wouldn’t talk to me. It wasn’t writer’s block. She just told me flat out, “I’m not talking to you!”

I’d never had anything like that happen before. These people are inside my head! How can they refuse me?

I backed up and tried a couple of different ways to get her to talk with me. But nothing seemed to work. Then I had a moment that made a chill run down my spine.

She got a text.

She completely ignored me and started texting with her friend. And through the text conversation, she told her friend the information I needed. It was then it occurred to me that I was the one in error. It would have been out of character for her to do an interview. The simulation of this person in my mind knew this and refused.

After the interview was done, I could have sworn I heard the opening theme from The Twilight Zone.