About Writing · the process · Writing

Where do characters come from?


Where do characters come from?

I’ll admit I often start a story with a character. So the character is important to me. I choose that character to create a story for him or her.

So where do I get them from?

People say don’t piss me off. I’ll write you into my book. In a bad way. And maybe they are the sort to take real life inspiration from people they know. I’m not. I don’t use any real people as character implants. Not in looks or characters. No one is making it into my books. It just will not happen.

Some people do character profiles. They create an idea of what the character is they want to develop and they develop it with character profiles. I don’t do this either.

I simply picture the character in my head. What they look like. Then what heritage that must be. Then I choose a name to fit them. I think for some time what this sort of person is like. I imagine conversations. Funny? Serious? Cynical? Sarcastic? I get a feel for how she talks and acts. And I have my character. I then do write down facets I want to be clear on in these little thin notebooks I have for each novel.

I assume these characters are coming form somewhere. The images I see are the mix of the thousands of people I come across week by week. Over and over. I may not get any inspiration from one person but I assume I am from many people. Nuances and quirks and postures all those little things you observe… ans when it comes to it that nuance of behavior would be perfect or that quirk would be great here.

My characters come from my introverted people watching it seems to me. Learning and absorbing.

Other times they come fully formed into my mind with their own personality already. So sometimes they are pure muse. They talk to me until I write them down. Otherwise they never shut up.

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