Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Who Are You?

There are certain questions a writer will be asked at some point:

1) Are you published?
2) How do you write?
3) Do you base your characters on anyone you know?

I'm going to answer number 3.

3) Yes and no. Characters are a weird. Some like to pop into your brain fully formed and ready to cooperate. Some take time to show who they are. I've never based a character on a particular person. Aspects of their personality may be taken from my friends and family and people I know. I may even add a bit of myself in there. Also, I like to people watch. A character may come from the person in the street/shop who was doing something interesting/reacting in a certain way.

Inspiration is all around. Drawing on what you know, what you want to know, what your experiences are etc., can help create a rich, complex character for you to weave into your story.

How do you create your characters?


  1. My characters come from everywhere.

    One character I had was based on "what I imagine my dad would've been like as a teenager if he had been abandoned by his parents...and born in Wales."

    Two others came from friends of mine saying "Put us in your book!" I kept their names and started with one defining character trait from each of them but extrapolated the rest.

    I would say every character I have starts with something pulled from myself or someone I know, but where they go, nobody knows :-)

  2. My main characters usually start with an aspect of myself (yes, I'm that narcissistic I guess!), but then evolve into their own characters. But interestingly, in my first book, the love interest/guy was actually the most like my real personality, not the mc. Although, I am a Gemini and my "real personality" is subject to change at any given moment.

  3. I have some characters (both main and side) that are inspired by real people. Some more than others. But most of them are formed more by what I want for that character to be, if you know what I mean.

  4. My most recent PBs main character is based on one of my college students. The MC in the book is only six, but his story was inspired by real life.

  5. I don't tend to think of any one person I know when I develop characters. I might take traits here and there (a friend's twitchiness; my grandmother's feistiness; a college roommate's sadness) and see where that takes me.

  6. My characters start out by fitting a particular situation or need. By the time I finish a first draft, I've gotten to know their personalities and interests. The second draft is when their true colors come out, and sometimes a strong or unexpected personality can change everything! (a good reminder for me: don't dwell too long on a first draft) :-)


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