Character inspiration

I was thinking today about my characters and how they come to me, and I realized that there’s a trend in how I develop them.  Most of my characters come straight out of my imagination and never really make me think of any specific person. My men are usually a blend of all the guys I dated before I got married, and my female characters tend to be based on no one at all. I do have a tendency, however, to create my unpleasant characters with specific people in mind. I’m curious about why that is. Maybe people with obviously nasty traits just stand out more in my memory because they are the exception and not the rule. Maybe most of the people I’ve known were pretty nice people and therefore I simply don’t see them as characters.

So my question to my fellow writers is this. Do you do the same thing? Are you more likely to write someone you like into your books or someone you find unpleasant?


~ by Rachel McMahon on October 1, 2010.

3 Responses to “Character inspiration”

  1. Each story is different. I have tweaked certain characters after friends. Yet in my latest story everyone is totally made up expect for one person.

  2. When I do base characters on real people, it’s never one person. I’ll take aspects of several people and mash them together into a character. This usually only happens with protagonists, though. Maybe it’s pride, but I like to think that I can create a better villain from whole cloth than the unpleasant people I run into.

  3. Tammy, that sounds like what I do.

    Dr. Snarky, you must be more fortunate than I am. I’ve known some real nasties.

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