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.
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