How many times do we, as writers, brush aside our own memories to use as a base for a character? I know I have and do. We don’t base a character entirely on a particular person, but draw on traits from more than a few people to develop richer, true-to-life characters. We also draw from those traits we identify in ourselves.

Those characters must have a particular set of problems, something to learn, to grow, to become a better person from life changing events.

Unique memories of my mother, sets the mood for attaching some of her characteristics to my writings. Life was good, but she didn’t live without difficulties. I think of her strength, her love of family, her sweet spirit, her willingness to forgive. She was kind, but when a situation called for tough decisions, she rose to the occasion. There were many times she gave her last dime to the church or someone who was in need. She always lived her life as self-sacrificing.

Not all people are geared that way.

So, in walks the antagonist. The adversary will have traits that add depth and dimension to a story. A few traits include, Ugly, Evil, Cunning, or Deceptive. Of course there are many other traits that can only belong to the bad guy. This is the guy who drives your plot to keep your reader on the edge of his/her seat.

Often, overheard conversations, sometimes only a few words, will lead to a scenario that can supply facts for an entire novel. Of course we make up ninety-nine percent of the remaining plot points. The man or woman, who sits at a table across from you, may provide material for your next novel. So listen, write them down, and go forth.

Do you have memories strong enough to create a balance for characters for your story? I’d love to hear some of your memories. Please share.

A Smoky Mountain Christmas Wedding – Book Two, coming soon.

My books are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Diesel, Apple and Smashwords.

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  1. I love to write at the Starbucks Café in my B&N. The conversations you can overhear!! My goodness. They would be a whole book by themselves.

    Two young men, age 18 or 19:
    Boy 1: Are you still seeing Shanna?
    Boy 2: Yeah, but it’s been like 3 times and that girl hasn’t put out yet. She better, or I’m outta here.
    Boys: laugh

    So, are they callous? Are all boys like this? Or are they acting this way for each other because they think this is what is done? Deciding which is what makes a story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m with Jill, I like listening in B&N or in Starbucks. It’s amazing to me what people say in public. That warning about watch what you say in an elevator at a conference is spot on. Your mother sounds like a lovely person, Carol. I hope every memory is a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it wonderful if you’re at a coffee shop, or wherever, you may be stuck on a scene and overhear a conversation that takes your story over the top or in another direction? Thank you Leigh. My mother was one of the strongest, loving and unselfish woman ever born. Memories are a blessing and too many to count.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love watching and listening to people. It’s amazing what they will say and how they say it. I know I’ve used a few lines of dialogue throughout the years. Still holding some in the back of my mind for that ‘perfect’ moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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