WriYe Blogging Circle | Characters

How do you come up with your characters? Do you pull from real life and people you know or someplace else? Do you have a hard time with characterisation or find it a breeze?

My original characters tend to be a patchwork made up from the characters I love the most in various fandoms. Or, occasionally, the actors who play them – Gabriel Kemp of Archangel was based directly on Cliff Simon’s NCIS Los Angeles guest spot, though the novella was very different in genre.

Characters come first most of the time and my plots are always character-driven, so characterisation is very important for me. Creating them is easy. Pulling them apart can be a little harder, but necessary to give the reader a satisfactory character arc.

How do you come up with names?

I steal them! Kemp was lifted from NCIS LA, Hoyt from DUST (both characters played by Cliff Simon.) I have a Phoebe which is close to Phryne and she is very much like Miss Fisher (if she hunted werewolves instead of solving murders.) Anthian is a nod to my long love of Doctor Who actor Anthony Ainley.

I try to name characters for their personality in the first place and the genre in the second. For instance, Ironhaven‘s Genevieve was named for film which featured racers having to find inventive methods to mend their rally car, and because it was a popular Victorian name (Ironhaven has a steampunk feel though it’s not strictly that genre.)

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