Where Do They Come From?

People ask me where I get my characters. I think they’re either worried that they’ll show up in a book – or maybe hoping for that to occur.

Writing (12 of 30)

The truth is, I rarely base my characters on real people. Occasionally, I’ll have a contest or oblige a friend and have a “cameo,” but usually, the characters come straight out of my imagination.┬áIf you see yourself in any of my characters, that’s great, but it’s not because I know you and decided to toss you in there!

I do use traits from people I know, however. I’ve used a friend’s nervous fidgeting habit, pet phrases, a way of wearing their hair, and other snippets that, divorced from the entire personality, can’t really be traced back to any one person. I don’t like having recognizable people in my stories for several reasons.

First, you’re either going to love it or hate it, and I can’t really predict which most of the time, so why open up that can of worms? Second, this is going to be forever, so whatever I write about you, whether flattering or not, will stick around a lot longer than you want it to. And finally, if I include one real person, everybody’s going to want one – and I just don’t have that many background characters to pass around.

What about you? Where do your characters come from?

A Day in the Life

(The typical day of a writer with a day job)

dreamstime_quill_writing

People ask me, “What’s your day like?” I also get “How do you find time to write with a full-time job?” Here’s your answer.

Typical Work Day

6:15am – Social Media – 15-30 minutes of Facebook (depending on how many “shares” I find to post), 10-15 minutes posting writing prompts on other social media, 5-10 minutes checking email

8:00am-9:30pm – a slave to the system (that includes commute time and morning Starbucks run)

10:00pm-11:00pm – maybe some writing on the book if I’m not too tired, editing if I’m tired, chatting online with one of my writer buddies

Typical “Day Off”

8:00am – Social Media

9:00am-11:00am – editing, re-reading, finishing up whatever I was working on the day before

11:00am-1:00pm – lunch and possibly a rest at the coffee house

2:00pm-8:00pm – writing, possibly with a few breaks for cleaning, laundry, dinner, etc.

8:00pm-11:00pm – whatever

I don’t always write for the entire six hours on my days off, but I’m always working on something related to the book – either this website or doing research or something else involved in writing.

What’s your typical writing day like?