Thursday, March 26, 2009

Character Inspiration!

What inspired your characters? From where did they spring? What keeps you 'in character?'

First a quick plug for my cats - they were interviewed by Mayra's Amigo - Pets & Authors

My YA series, The Circle of Friends, was originally inspired by just a wisp of a dream... I saw Lori and Jason, I knew the setting, I knew she was a swimmer - and it all flowed from that brief moment. Five books from one brief little moment.

What keeps me 'in character' as I write? Everyone has their own method, but for me, music works best. Each main character has their own 'theme' song. It embodies their passions, their emotions, their inner turmoil, and the music helps me to connect with their personality. It's a combination of music and lyrics that brings my characters to life.

Here's the inspiration behind the five main characters:

Book I...Lori -
Lori is a combination of songs. Her spirit emerged from a CD mix of 80's & 90's love songs, and their sweet innocence brought her to life.

Book II...Sarah -
Sarah's inner struggle with self-esteem solidified with Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" She was also my strongest connection, because I was a Sarah... You Tube Video

Book III...James -
The character with the most angst & baggage, James came to life with Stabbing Westward's "What Do I Have To Do?" You Tube Video

Book IV...Mike -
Mike's quiet nature & hidden struggles were best captured by Finger Eleven's "Thousand Mile Wish" & "One Thing." (His character also plays guitar, so I could picture him quietly strumming these tunes...) You Tube Video You Tube Video

Book V...Heather -
Heather was the toughest, as she's a strong, dominant choleric, but she came to life with Stream of Passion's "Passion." You Tube Video

(You Tube videos optional, but these songs may be unknown to you... and you might be curious!)

That is what inspires me as I created the stories surrounding these characters. What inspires you?


  1. You never know what can inspire you to write a character. Sometimes it happens when you're walking down the street and spot someone.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. I recently went with a close friend who had to get a sonogram confirming that the baby she was carrying was no longer alive. She didn't see the images on the screen, but I did. What impacted me the most was a very clear image of the baby's hand. Since then a character was created in my mind, and I haven't had a clue as to how to breathe life into her. Thanks for the tip on music. I believe that will be a big help!

  3. Interesting to read how you do it. My characters are usually drawn from life, amalgamations of people I've known and/ot met. My Owen Fiddler character is sort of an anthropomorphic principle - an "everyman" kind of character.

  4. Diane...interesting post. Goes to show inspiration is all around us.
    Well done. Loved the interview over at Mayra's blog.

    Best wishes,

  5. Thank you, Donna! All of Rocko & Spunky's buddies at MyCatSpace liked it, too.

    And Wendy, music is a fantastic inspiration! I remember attending the Arkansas Writer's Conference several years ago and one of th speakers did a very in depth talk on the influence of music.
    Such a sad story - my heart goes out to your friend.

    And Marvin, surprisingly enough, I take very little from people I actually know. Except that there is a little piece of me in every character. (Sarah probably has the biggest chunk...)