Creating characters

So, I didn’t really have a post yesterday. Just a crap day, nothing major. The last week has been bad for writing… I spent the week at a conference, and there was almost not time do anything at all. Having said that, I got a lot of material for using in writing in the future.

I usually draw characters from life, and I met a whole bunch of new people – some of whom were quite odd. The man who led the conference is an ex spy who became a hippie and then started doing these conferences for teachers. Elements of him will make it into future work of mine, probably a number of characters will owe their introduction to him.

Another man I met was born in Poland, grew up in Australia, and looked a lot like a movie villain. I don’t know how else to describe him. He’s a great guy, but he’s bald, has a sharp and intense face, just looks like someone you would cast as a bad guy.

That’s how I create people, I draw elements of people I know in life and create amalgam characters. I have heard other people say they create characters from whole cloth, but I can’t seem to do that. I do draw elements from myself quite frequently. None of my characters are exact matches for real people though, they might have an appearance drawn from one person, a job from another, hobbies that are a mix of a few.

It has to be done logically though. You can’t take the wrong elements from the wrong people. Giving a character who grew up in poor areas with no money the hobbies of the wealthiest person I know would work out poorly. I try to match the traits to people they make sense with.

I guess that’s it for today. More fiction Saturday and Sunday.

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