How I Create My Characters

I have heard quite a few people ask about where writers’ characters come from. I cannot speak for everyone, of course, but I can certainly tell you about mine.

Yes, my characters are derived from people I know, though not precisely how you might think. Since I began reading I’ve found myself observing people. Little things, like how they slide their glasses up their nose, how they curve their hair behind their ear, facial expressions, body language, habitual ticks, etc.

A small rascal2

Observing body language is easy, as is putting small ticks or habits into a character profile. What isn’t so simple is creating a character’s whole personality from nothing. Who are they? What do they like? What makes them angry? What makes them uncomfortable? What about them makes others angry? For this information, I look to my own life.

I have had the opportunity to know many people with differing personalities, both those who are easy going, fun-loving individuals, and those whose every word pushes your buttons.

Hulk

Both types of people – and everyone in-between – are essential to us. They allow us to grow, to get to know ourselves better, and to learn. Now, I’m not saying that each of my characters is a representation of one of my family members or acquaintances, but each of them most definitely carries a personality trait of someone I know.

There is a little bit of me in each of my heroines. Something I like, something I don’t like, or thoughts I’ve had about myself, they’re in my heroines. Some things that irritate me about the men in my life, they’re in my heroes and side characters. That high school gossip? Yes, she’s a side character. The bothersome things my brother has said/done to me? Yes, they’re in my books.

Every time someone has done or said something that hurt my feelings or made me angry since I began writing, it has been added into the plot of one of my novels. No, not every one of them has been “killed off”. In fact, for the majority of them I’ve done quite the opposite. I redeem them. I have them realize the error of their ways and turn themselves about. Well… either that, or I have them mysteriously disappear.

This is just another reason why I believe that writing is a cathartic release for me. Everything happens how I want them to. It feels good.

Thank you for reading! Happy Monday, everyone!

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How I Find My Inspiration

Good evening, blog readers! This post will hopefully prove helpful for those of you struggling to find inspiration for your own projects.

idea

When it comes to plot ideas, there are several ways that I find inspiration:

1. I have a dream. It is because of my mid-sleep inspirations that I keep my phone (and on it, my notepad) on my bedside table.
2. I hear a song with lyrics that resonate with me, allowing my imagination to wander.
3. In extremely rare moments of silence. Whenever the kids are being watched by a family member and I’ve got a little time to myself, I think of all the plot possibilities.
4. Watching movies. I internally pick movie plots apart in my mind, wondering what would have happened if things had progressed differently.

As for character inspirations, I gather ideas differently:

1. To find inspiration for personality traits, I spend a lot of time observing others. I watch for nervous twitches, habits, listen to the cadence of their voices, etc. I can also find these from film and television.
2. Once I know who my character is, personality-wise, I search Pinterest for visual inspiration.

I keep a private folder on my computer and in Pinterest filled with photos of men, women, animals, estates, scenery, and Regency-styled rooms. When each of my novels are close to their publication date, I will share the visual-inspiration for each of the novels’ characters in a blog.

Whenever I find myself lacking for inspiration, I engross myself in something related to my project. In my particular case, it is always something Regency-oriented, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, or Emma, for example. Whether it is in film or novel format, I find a way to sit down with them and get that familiar anticipation for my Regency novels once more.

I hope that this blog has helped those of you looking for inspiration, and for the rest of you, I hope that you enjoyed the insight into my life as a Historical Romance author.

Thank you all for reading! I hope you have a lovely week!