…I suppose I should be grateful I’ve only had a few of these (toothaches, that is, not days of writing) in the last decade: I’d forgotten how thoroughly suck. But I’m going to the dentist this morning, and I’m looking forward to eating solid food again without feeling like it’s some sort of medieval torture. Rawr.
I’m crawling out of hibernation — and it does feel like I ought to be hibernating: we keep getting a foot of snow or more on a fairly regular basis, so that looking out the windows on the first floor of the house makes me feel like a hobbit– now. I have plenty of writing to do, and I think I skipped a whole week of blogging there, plus it’s time to get back into the workout routine, somehow. So:
9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.
I’d like to say I have a process. That I fill out those character bio thingys, or do interviews, or have a chart for motivations, background, baggage, etc. — but no, not so much. Unlike every other aspect of novel-writing, this one is purely intuitive for me. I feel my way through it.
I also don’t bother with any of the other stuff until I’ve got this bit down: I know it’s possible to have a story without a fully-fleshed out character and just build up as you go, but I can’t do that. I don’t have anything until I have a whole character.
So, melodramatic as it is, they pretty much spring whole from my forehead, minus all the blood and mess and toga and weaponry.
(Okay, I’m sure there’s a more accurate way to say that, but I’m only on my first cup of coffee, and the image of having a fetus gestating in my skull seems oddly accurate right now. Maybe it’s just the toothache.)
My characters come from all over the place — from the books I read, the shows I watch, the people I deal with daily and like (or dislike; you can get some fairly fun character traits from people you find annoying, I’ve found), the people I run into once, memories, news — you name it and I’ve probably cadged a fraction of it for some MC somewhere. They sort of coalesce out of all of that and then I have to build a story around them.
And yes, I know this makes me sound a bit schizophrenic. I don’t care.