Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ways to Come Up With Characters

Ways to Come Up With Characters

**Just letting you know, I'm not condoning in any way shape or form any sort of plagiarism at all.**

I just wanted to say that, as this post refers to using inspiration from other sources for inspiration for your own writing. I have found that this method does work and the end result is usually nothing like the beginning inspiration. Therefore there is no need to feel plagiarism at all.

So, you are stuck coming up with an interesting character. We've all been there.

What I've found that helps sometimes is to take references from other sources to help achieve your desired character.

(NOTE: That certain writing programs such as Scrivener you can put photos and source material in the program and bring it up when necessary. It's neat! I haven't had a chance to play with it, but the blog entry from Aurelia from December 30, has some great screen shots of it.)

Friends, Family, Movies, Books, Television, Theater, etc.

So, let's combine them.

My heroine, let's call her “Claire.” I want her to look like Anne Hathaway from Princess Diaries, and I want her to act like this girl I knew in college, Khloe, who was really prim and proper, and had a very overbearing mother, and I want to give her a distinguishing characteristic of having a long scar down the side of her neck that she is really embarrassed over so she wears her hair down all the time over it. I want her to work at a bakery, that her mother disapproves of. She ran off and got married at 18, and then her husband died. Her mother-in-law owns the bakery. She's in her early 30's now.

My hero, let's call him, “Gerald.” I want him to look like Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, but a little younger. He is old-fashioned, and acts somewhat like John Wayne in the movie McClintock. He thinks women should be all prim and proper, and the mother wants to set them up. He wants to buy the bakery and tear it down to make room for an old west style saloon that would cater to the tourists and make him lots of money. He has been considered a playboy.

So, there we go. We have two fleshed out characters. If I were to continue with this story, by the time I was done with it, there would be no way in knowing that I started off with the idea of Mike Rowe and Anne Hathaway. They will have become their own people. However, by doing this I'm getting a solid foundation of them in my mind.

Don't be afraid to give them bad attributes. It makes them more human and more realistic to the reader.
Give them scars, ticks, limps, bad attitudes, sarcasm, bald, etc. Keep them interesting.

Next up- Where to start?

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