When writing fiction, creating characters has always been the fun part for me. Getting inside each character’s head and shaping them into credible human beings for others to enjoy, love or hate.
We, the human race, are so diverse, from the way we look, to what makes us tick. We are all deliciously unique, down to our DNA.
I have always been a people watcher, and can people watch for hours, especially at airports, although it’s not something I have had the opportunity to do a great deal of during 2020. In restaurants, I am guilty of allowing my attention to drift and focus on the body language and banter of fellow diners; much to the annoyance of those on my table.
Over the years, I have watched gurgling neonates develop into walking, talking fully-fledged adult human beings while developing their own unique characters. I filch and absorb unique traits, memorise little idiosyncrasies from every person I meet. Sorry about that, but I can’t help myself!
When it comes to creating characters, we have billions of years of reference material to work from. The hard part is slotting them into a credible storyline and working out how they will react and cope in certain situations.
One of my characters likes nothing more than a good w(h)ine. Trying to please her and making her see the good in what is going on around her, is a challenge. Fuelled by an unshakable belief that she is never wrong, she is self-righteous to the extreme and doomed to lose everyone around her.
Some people never stop talking; others are timid and shy. Some are overly conscientious; some are kind, and some can’t make up their mind. We are all so different, so deliciously unique.
Creating characters comes from the myriad of stored images inside your head, both physical attributes, as well as emotional feeling.
When I was five, I told my mother about what the two people inside my head had got up to that day. She viewed me with suspicion, thinking her only child was, probably, nuts. It was a wasted worry because I was having fun, as I still do today, creating characters.
For me, getting inside the head of a fictional character is a character-building process in itself, and I love it.