Monday, September 8, 2008

The blog chain--Are your characters real?

Okay, so who has Fleetwood Mac's CHAIN stuck in their head now?

I am a member of a group of writers who have formed a blog chain. Each week or so a new topic is posted and we go down the list and post. Check out Elana, who posted before me, and Terri who will post after me.

This week's topic is: Are your characters real?

Hoo Boy! Are they ever!

What? You think I can come up with this stuff on my own?

The fun thing about writing is that you can take the most exteme/outrageous quality of one person and pair it with the most extreme/outrageous behaviour of another person and viola'--one great character made to order.

I guess you could say that none of my characters represent a single person, but they are all a collection of friends, family, and yes, even a little of myself. Dear god, save us.

But that's the fun part about writing; taking Uncle Morty's paranoid schizophrenia, Grandma's obsession with cross stitch, and Neighbor Joe's hobby of street racing, and now you have 17-year-old Mary who, while cross stitching a pillow case late one night, hears a voice in her head telling her to steal her dad's '69 camaro and race the neighborhood bully at the track in an effort to save the world from demons who are possessing the students at her highschool.

Okay--maybe that was a little extreme, but you get my drift.

You don't? Okay, let me try again...My point: Why make up characters, when real people and their real traits/quirks are way better than anything I could come up with on my own?


  1. I think I may have dated Mary in high school. Once.


  2. I found this post to be wonderfully coherant! I also loved your mini character sketch - I would totally read her story!

  3. Mary, the Demon Slayer! Love it!

    Real people are a great source of inspiration.

  4. Short and sweet... great post, Cole!

  5. Oh, I so do the same thing!! I mix and match the characteristics I like and create an awesome character. And my MCs almost always have a touch of me in them; sometimes it is how I am actually like, and sometimes I give them characteristics I would like to have - I make her more bold than I am, etc. It's fun to create a situation and have my MC do things I would love to do but never would in real life :)

  6. Some of the people that have passed through my life would make very interesting characters.

    They do say that truth is stranger than fiction, but so many times people do things that would just not be believable in a book!


    :) Terri

  7. Sweet and sassy! A great post with an awesome sense of humor.

  8. I love the idea of taking the interesting things from one person and combining them with those from another. Awesome job, Cole!

  9. What a great illustration! Like Kate, I would totally read your combo character's story! :-D

  10. Love this post. And Fleetwood Mac. Reality IS better than fiction.