Last week I posted some thoughts about real life villains and how I planned to use them as inspirations for characters in my books. Yesterday I started thinking about real life heroes. The people in our lives who are strong in so many ways that they just inspire you to become more than you are—those everyday people we know and meet who face fear, pain and loss with so much grace you can’t help but to admire them and be proud to call them friend. It’s not the tragedy or obstacle that makes a hero it’s the way that person carries on through it.
I find it hard to even fathom creating heroes who could live up to the people who inspire and impress me so much in real life. However, at the same time I want to create characters based on these people because traits like theirs should be immortalized in some way—they should live on in print to inspire someone else. I find myself struggling to capture the essence of my inspirations. On some level, I’m just not sure what words could possibly do them justice. On the other hand I admit that I struggle to make my villains more that just one dimensional characters. I guess I subconsciously want to make them as unappealing as possible, but I know there’s a way to do this without making them purely flat characters. The more I thought about this, the more I wondered if other writers find it difficult to create well defined, in depth character descriptions for their heroes and villains as well.
Do other writers suffer from the same inclinations I do? Do they want so badly to do justice to their real life heroes, that they struggle with finding the right words? How difficult is it for others to create believable “real” villains? How much do the personality traits of the people around them, find their way into a writer’s work? When I made the decision to finally sit down and write my first novel I was excited about getting my story down on paper and I still am. However, since I’ve begun it’s really hit me that any one can tell a story, but not everyone can build a world and create characters that make the story worth reading. I’m feeling somewhat daunted right now but I do love a challenge so we’ll see how it all works out when I write that final page…
Write to you soon,