I was awoken very early this morning by the rumbling of thunder from a nearby storm. I lay in bed watching my ceiling light up bright white as each lightning strike forked across the sky above my town. I couldn’t go back to sleep so instead decided to switch on the laptop and get some writing done.
It was exciting to hear the thunder as it passed overhead and this excitement brought a new element to my writing.
It started the creation of a new character – one who had all the characteristics of a lightning storm: loud, flash, persistent, unpredictable, dangerous, primal and exciting. A wanderer who appeared and disappeared quickly, but left everyone talking and affected by his actions. I suppose you could call this a ‘flash of inspiration’ (sorry… couldn’t help myself)
What (or who) do you base your characters on?
Do you give them believable personalities and traits? Do they influence other characters in your book or just hang about the periphery dipping in and out when required… or not?
Normally, when building new characters, I like to get out and about to observe people.
I watch their actions and take notes. Snippets of conversations from passers-by can be very revealing… and sometimes mysterious. I use all my notes to form protagonists and antagonists, sideline characters and major influencers. There is inspiration everywhere.
If you are writing a book that could be set in the ‘real’ world, go visit the locations.
Watch the people and get a feel for their mannerisms and individual quirks. If you are writing science fiction, visit sci-fi exhibitions and attend talks where experts in that field are lecturing.
Immerse yourself in your chosen world and surround yourself with the people in it.
Take notes and build strong believable characters. There is an unlimited source of inspiration out there… go get it!