Friday, March 13, 2009

Conjuring characters

The starting point for most of the characters I have written usually begins with someone I know. Sometimes it is the way they look, or how they move or talk or laugh or what kind of influence they brought to my life, but the beginning of a character always starts with that spark. It doesn't take long before the inspiration is realized into someone wholly different. In other words, they become a character. Once they are a character I don't think much about the person anymore. In fact, I forget about it until the work is done (or someone else reads it and asks.)

People that know me often recognize elements of themselves or others in my characters. Sometimes it is obvious and sometimes it's more obscure and often it goes completely unnoticed, except to me.

In the last few months a curious thing has begun to happen. Some of the people who have inspired my characters have come back into my life.

I have heard from a friend from elementary school that I haven't been in touch with since...well...elementary school...who inspired a name in The Last Bridge. I got an update about someone else who passed away that was a huge source of inspiration for one of my characters. A couple months ago, I heard from an old friend who inspired another name in The Last Bridge.

The most surprising was hearing from someone who inspired a character in my second novel, this was a shock since we had not ended things well a few years back. Suddenly, out of the blue I hear from him.

There is one person though I have not heard from and in writing this I'm wondering if I am rubbing the Genie's lamp and asking for him to appear. Who is it? Well, it is a him. The character he inspired? Well you'll just have to read The Last Bridge and try to figure out who...

If you could conjure one person from your past who would it be and why?

3 comments:

Mike Wilson said...

Alas and alack. As I sit here, nontrivially inebriated (Yes it's Tuesday *hic* point?) I realize I have no honorable motives for conjuring someone from my past.

It would be M____ K. B_____ and it would be for the opportunity to right wrongs.

I could say something poetic and trite about conjuring my "self at 15" so that I could teach him a couple things and send him back better armed... But frankly I'm not sure I've learned enough that would be useful.

There are old lost friends and relatives who've passed on who all flip through my brain as fast as I can thumb through the deck of memory cards on which they live.

But it would only be out of regret.

So no. I'll keep my past as my past and not wish them out of the cornfields. After all... I put them there.

Anonymous said...

Is it Addison?????!!!!!

Teri Coyne said...

Is it Addison??? That's a loaded question...as he is a composite of quite a few people...