Writer’s Reveal – People of the Past, Characters of the Future

People of the past, characters of the future

I’m a bit late with my Writer’s Reveal post this month… though I am scheduling it for the right day. My excuse – I’ve had my head down in the Chapter Book Challenge and recovering for a couple of days. Well, that’s my story & I’m sticking to it!

The prompt for this month was set by JC Wolf and is:

People of the Past, Characters of the Future

When I first saw this, I had no idea what I could write, but then I got in to the chapter book challenge and I realised that many of the characters are based on people I have known.

For example, the best friend in this years draft is based on my own Mr N. The bullies in the story I wrote last year are based on a mixture of kids who bullied me in the past. Even the PE teacher is based on a mix of a teacher I had as well as the PE teacher at my kids school.

I think the key to using people we know, or have known, is to not write them exactly as they are or were in real life, but take characteristics that we can look at in our mind to help paint a realistic fictional character.

These characteristics could be the way they look, mannerisms or the way they speak. By picturing your memories of people from your past, you may be able to write them down on paper.

For example, with one of the bullies, I pictured a girl I was at primary school with who had long blonde hair that she could sit on. I can remember being jealous of her hair, so I wrote it in my book. As I was at school in the late 1980s, my full memory of her is vague, however I can remember her hair and the feelings I had.

There are other characters who will be based on more than one person I knew in the past. I could take the hair from one person, the personality of another, and the dress sense of another to create someone to feature in a story.

People from the past can help you write characters of the future, even if you end up merging the people from the past to create those characters, or even if you only use part of them in a character.

To visit the blogs of others in Writer’s Reveal, visit the links below:

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Comments

  1. Great post – finally catching up with everyone. Funny how things from the past hit us when we are writing. As they say beware the writer!!!!

  2. Great post Melissa I agree that the characters from our past can be combined to make a new character for our future writings. I know that a lot of my characters are based on people I once knew in some way

  3. No problem; mine was a little late too. Great post! Mixing and matching traits from real people is a good way to build original characters. I too remember a few people from my school days who would probably make good inspiration for antagonists in my future stories. Sometimes writing well is the best revenge!

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