My friend Erin (see photo--yep, that's the beautiful Erin) dyed her hair black. So what, right? Well, when her hair was black, her eyes looked gold. And all I could think as I stared at her, and probably freaked her out with my scrutiny, was, "Her eyes look like cat eyes." What does this story have to do with a blog that centers around writing? Everything. When I saw those gold eyes, a character was born. An entire trilogy was inspired. All because Erin dyed her hair (thanks, Erin!).
And then the other day, I supervised youth dodge ball. And this boy, this teenager, walked into the gym. My jaw dropped. My eyes grew round. I stared at the poor teenage boy the whole evening. And I'm sure he got totally creeped out--I am slightly beyond my teenage years, way too old to be staring at him like that. But it was as if the character from my work-in-progress peeled himself off the page and came to that gym to haunt me. If I'd had my notebook, I would have been scribbling furiously. If I'd had a camera, I would have been snapping pictures until the battery died. If I had been brave, I would have talked to him. Instead I studied him from afar and memorized the way he moved, how his t-shirt hung on him, the angle of his cheekbones, how he smiled when he pegged someone with the ball. I went home and wrote him onto paper. And finally fell in love with my character. Sigh.
So where does it come from, your character inspiration? And do you love your characters like I do? Even the bad ones?
--Bethany aka Wiggy
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