Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reality or Fantasy?

Are your characters based on people you know, or are they completely made up? I guess all writers must get asked this question since I've been asked so many times by friends, fans, interviewers and the like. For me, the answer isn't so simple.

I am made up of all the experiences I've had, all the people I've known, all the stories I've heard and read. As I think about the answer, I realize I've based some secondary characters on friends and clients. But the characters always take on a life of their own and usually differ in some major ways from their model. When it comes to my major players, I can honestly say they are pure imagination.

As I write this, I'm in the midst of updating a workshop on characterization I'm giving in a few weeks. I realized as I made note cards the reason my major characters are not based on those I know. They spring from a particular GMC. Their personality must conform to what I need it to be. Not true of the supporting cast, whose GMCs can be a little more loose, a bit more pliant.

So what about you? How do you come up with exciting characters?


Kelley Nyrae said...

My characters usually just come to me. Some times they have some traits of people I know but they are all their own people.

Julie S said...

LOL. I actually do not come up with exciting characters :-)

Dara said...

Oh, Julie - you do too!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Sometimes my characters have character traits that are "inspired" by people I know in real life, but they soon take on a life of their own as the story goes along.

Dara said...

Inspired - I like that, Jenyfer.