We took two different strands of people we saw in the mall and let them come together as one. Now we have two different backstories and have come together as one. Many times I will add in character traits and go back to rewrite the story with that trait.
For example, in my novel Unit 12A-05, I wrote in the King. He was a bald man with a limp who is a real-life friend. He also uses a cane most of the time. He made a perfect character for my story.
The funny part is that the King in real life was a very silly man and not like the King in my story. But his general character fit. Once again, if you keep your eyes open and absorb these little key traits it can make writing much more fun and easier.
In my case, I flipped his very docile nature to someone who was a kingpin type of person. Talk softly but carry a big stick. However in the end a very seemingly incapable man could be a ruthless killer. For me, these little twists in the story are what make writing fun and interesting. This does not come all at once and certainly not immediately. The fun part of this is, to imagine your mom or dad being a serial killer. How would they get away with it? How would they hide their secret life?
But for now, let’s get back to Larry and Lucky. We picked out two characters and you can do the same. Pick a story you are working on, or let’s start one together… Start a love story, a horror story or a teen drama.
For me as I mentioned it started with poetry and picking up on feelings that I believe people had and writing them down works. You don’t have to make it up. The characters are out there in real life, in movies, in books or in newspapers.
We could add another twist. Larry could be a serial killer as well as a strict dad. But let’s pick two characters that work for you. Pick two people out of a crowd. Pick two of your friends and imagine them living a double life. A killer, a prostitute or a cheating boyfriend, girlfriend etc. Add to an already existing person and step it up a notch.
Larry can be a loving and caring father with a brutal past. He could have been abused and turned that into love toward his family. However, he is troubled and his past sometimes comes back and haunts him. Rather than taking it out on his family, he takes it out on others. Change the age of the character and suddenly you can have a teenager or a young adult with the same past and he falls in love for the first time in his life. These little things are where I like to start. Not having a story, a character or a background for your character is nonsense.
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