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Where do you find your characters?

Crumbly Writer

OK, on a similar note to my other thread Where do your stories come from?, I've got a similar question: Where do you get the majority of your characters from?

Do you base them on people you meet on the street? Friends, family and/or lovers, past and present? Do you see people in the news and think 'They'd be perfect in ...', or do they originate purely in your own fantasies/imagination?

And cause we all like intimate details, examples help too.

For me, characters start as ideas. In order to help me flesh them out, I scan my photo library for images close to my imaginary character. I then base aspects of their personality on characteristics from the photos (style, attitude, menacing looks, style of dress, etc.).

I sometimes base characters on people I know, but I create composites, with characters having 'this from this one person I know, and this other aspect from this other person, and ...'. No character is defined purely on a single person, and the people rarely guess who they are when reading the story (they all pick the wrong character, based on how they view themselves rather than how others see them.

So how about you?

Ernest Bywater

All of the above, and anything my imagination can come up with.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

All of the above, and anything my imagination can come up with.

Note my original question:

Where do you get the majority of your characters from?

(i.e. what's your typical approach?)

tppm

Usually my characters spontaneously appear before the story does. I usually think of scenarios and then flesh them out into stories. Secondary characters are just there when they're needed, and later some of them get fleshed out beyond just a mention.

KimLittle

My characters come from the story - details particular to those characters come from people I know/met/my own experience. But an amalgam - no character I write is directly based on one real person.

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