One of the questions I hear frequently is how do I create my characters? Where do they come from? What inspired me? This is also the hardest question to answer because characters can come from anywhere. They can spring fully formed from my forehead like Athena did from Zeus or percolate in the foamy waves generated by my sea of imagination like Aphrodite or they can simply take shape over time, like a carefully worn path through the mountains that the river cuts relentlessly.
Where Do Characters Come From?
Ask any author where his or her characters come from and you will likely receive a different answer. One author I met last summer described her character creation process as an introduction. Some of her characters arrive, fully formed with names and introduce themselves. Still others describe the process as getting to know their characters as they write.
One author I know begins with the germ of an idea, a word, a catch phrase or even just a hint of personality and then she writes until that character takes shape on the page. She described her process of getting to know the character like picking out all the right traits on a singles-dating site, but until she took the character out for a spin, she didn’t really know them.