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Today I thought I would blog about characters and where people get their inspiration from. My aim is to get an insight on how other writers create them and hopefully help fellow writers who struggle with character creation. I know for some people, character creation can be a difficult task.

Being an avid reader of many books,  I’m always intrigued at what possessed the author to create certain characters.

Is the character based on the author? Is the character based on a friend, family member, enemy? Is it someone entirely of their imagination and has no relevance to people / things they know?

Take for example Gollum in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. What was Tolkien thinking when he created him? He’s such an unusual character and I really wish I knew. It’s funny, I had never really thought much about it but today I was watching The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey and it got me thinking. Hence this blog.

This is something that has always intrigued me. To me, character development is the most exciting part of creating and writing a novel. You can create anyone you want and make them who you want them to be. I get a thrill just writing about it!

So where do I get my character inspiration from? It’s simple – everything and everyone around me!

I use people I know – family, friends, work mates, acquaintances. Sometimes I’ll sit somewhere outdoors and just watch the goings on around me. This allows me to see how people act and I find I can gauge a lot about their personality. I listen to the way people talk, what they talk about and this gives me an idea of who my character will be. Will they be shy, giggly, outspoken, selfish, argumentative?

On wattpad.com I have a completed story called The Matchmaker. The main female character, Shannon, was an easy yet exciting character to create. One day I was watching Jane Austen’s Emma and the character of Emma was the type of person I imagined Shannon to be. Not wanting to plagiarise, I tweaked her to make her unique. In looks she has a bit of me in her when I was a teenager, a bit of my 16-year-old niece, a bit of my middle sister and a bit of my best friend. In personality she has a bit of Emma, a bit of my ex-best friend, a bit of my eldest sister and even a bit of a workmate.

Off topic just briefly – if you wish to read the story, go to the website and search for my username LisaStanbridge.

On topic again. The example of Shannon is just one example of one character but you get the gist of what I mean.

So this is my question to my fellow writers who are readers / followers – where do you get your character inspiration from? Leave a comment below. I hope that between me and the rest of you, we can provide some interesting reading to fellow writers and help to those who struggle to create characters.

If you read how other people create them, it might help you too or give you some new ideas. So, please leave a comment, let everyone know what inspires you!

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