Characters, where do they come from?

     Writers are often asked where their characters come from.  I find that my characters come from many places.  Some of them are fusions of people I know and others are complete inventions. 

     I have one character that frequently appears in my writing.  She’s a combination of my maternal grandmother, a couple of aunts, a few neighbors, and the odd friend or two.  She’s a real hoot.  However, she will never be a main character.  I don’t know why but she prefers to remain in the background.  On several occasions, I’ve tried pushing her into the limelight only to have her beat a hasty retreat.  She does make a great background character though so I’ve learned to let her do her own thing.  I’ll leave you with that much, and when my books come out, you can guess which character she is.

     I base my dog characters on Bull Terriers I have owned or known and that list is long.  I usually pluck my bad guys from the air and my imagination.  One or two began from seeing someone who fit my mental description and then imagining the worst case scenario.

About doggonedmysteries

Agented Mystery Writer, Bull Terrier owner--I have one at the present time, Avid gardener.

Posted on February 26, 2009, in My blog, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Interesting post. I always try not to base my characters on people I know, but inevitably snatches of subconscious information come to the surface. Often, the characters behave in ways I never would.

    I’ve written a couple of psychological thrillers and once a friend of mine read a description I’d written about a man in a kitchen with the latest gadgets and brochures on the table advertising cheap flights from the UK to Florida, and the friend believed I’d written about him when the description was meant to convey something entirely different.

    All the best with your mystery writing. I’m blogging creative writing articles on a regular basis at Check them out if you have time.

  2. Sometimes characters are not easy to tease out – I found myself needing a background character to introduce a CLUE! Finally thought to grab the white pages and stick a finger in for the last name, and then again for the first name. Just taking whatever caught my eye.

    Wouldn’t you know it, she was one of my readers favorites and they all wanted more of her! My inner critic pretends she’s not there.

    • doggonedmysteries

      Ian, my bad guy in Doggoned Dead tends to drive me crazy. He goes off on tangents and I have to rein him in all the time.

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