Last night, I decided to analyze my characters in detail and figured out some interesting things. I always say my characters are all bits and pieces of myself (and some not all that flattering, lol) then I looked a little closer.
In most cases as far as characters go for any book or movie you have the protagonist, who depending on genre is either funny or serious but in general exudes the most emotion or is the character that evokes the most emotion in the reader themselves. You’ll also have a quirky side character, especially if the main character is a serious one. You have bad guys or characters that evoke a feeling of confrontation, thus giving the book or movie the appeal of a suspenseful situation that will need resolved, thus driving the plot.
Well when I took each character of mine into contemplation, I began to realize that parts of them didn’t make sense when it came to myself. I started thinking that I must have developed some of them based off of people I know as well.
In fact, a great many writers (of anything written including lyrics) get their inspirations from others around them, looks or personalities or any aspect that stands out about them. For instance, my writer sister’s favorite t-shirt says “be careful or you might end up in my novel”
I just didn’t realize to what extent. The subconscious mind is an interesting thing, and I started to pin point details down to a man I saw in a grocery store two years ago, type thing. People I haven’t seen in a long time. People I miss. People I know by looks and only imagine what they must be like.
So I thought it interesting, that these characters developed in my mind are kind of like little hybrid people based on me and others. Like it’s creating some kind of subliminal connection to that other person, even if you don’t even know them.
Just remember, the eye sees more than we think it does, and the brain retains more information than we can comprehend. So the next time you feel weird about using another person’s characteristics or personality or minute detail to describe a character- just take a look at your existing characters. Chances are, you already have without even knowing it 🙂
But please do keep in mind to use caution when using real names or down-to-the-detail descriptions, as it intrudes in others’ privacy and sets you up for a nice little (or big) lawsuit.
Thank you, my friends!
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