that it is the character who drives the story and therefore that without knowing our characters we can't control the story.I do think that interviewing our characters is a good idea but the questions should be ones which will genuinely help us with the story. So, I thought I'd try to come up with my serious, non-facetious list. If you want to understand the relevant things about your MC and simultaneously grasp your plot by the short and curlies, ask of your MC:
What is your worst fear? And your second worst? (Likely to be part of the conflict and tension.)
What would you most like people to know about you? (Make sure it's obvious, then.)
What would you most like to hide? (Every hero has a flaw.)
What would you most like to change about your life? (Could be part of the conflict and motivation; could be sub-plot.)
Why should we care about you? (Because if we don't, we won't read on.)
What were you doing before this story started? (This informs your back-story.)
Do people understand you? If not, what do they get wrong? (Makes your character more real because it informs interaction with other characters.)
If I met you for the first time, would I immediately know what you were like or would it take a while to get to know you? (As above.)
What sort of people like you? Do adults like you? Do boys like you? Do girls like you? Why? Or why not? (Helps place your character within the real world instead of just on the page. It may also inspire some ideas for painting your character richly but subtly.)
Are you happy on your own? (As above.)
What are you going to achieve in my story? (Crucial for plot, since character drives action.)
What trivial but annoying habit do you have? (Makes character more real. Character can show this habit when angry / sad / stressed - helps you show without telling emotion too much.))
What trivial but annoying habits do you dislike in other people? (As above.)
What four (or three or five) adjectives best sum you up? (Helps you remember traits to paint most strongly.)
Are you going to die in this story?** Should you? (Informs plot and interacts with reader's engagement.)(** Edited to add: on second thoughts, and after a v useful comment by Miriam Drori, I have changed my mind about this. It's certainly not necessary for the writer to know if the character is going to die - I often don't know things like that. But asking whether the character should die is useful, as Miriam says. That will add to the tension and suspense, and get you thinking about that plot aspect. Of course, if this book isn't one where death is going to be at all relevant or appropriate, you'd omit this question.)
When you can answer all these questions, you know your character and you know your story. Your story will be infinitely easier to write and immeasurably more human.
Or canine, if your character is a dog.
And now, a challenge for you: do you have an even better question to add to that list? If I think it's a superlatively brilliant question, I may add it to the list when I come to that bit in Write to be Published - but hurry, because I'm writing it NOW. You'll get your name in the acknowledgements but you'll get nae dosh.