You can view my inspiration for this post here: “Write What You Know” Does Not Mean What You Think It Does
After reading the above article and pondering for a while, I realized that I had already written what I knew. My character, Aziza, from my manuscript BLOOD OF ISIS is a reflection of myself. When creating Aziza I thought of things that had occurred in my life, transferring school my senior year, and mixed though with bits of my personality x100. For instance, I consider myself to be a social person as long as I know someone or can make some connection with someone in the room. However as social as I might seem to others, I am actually quite shy, it’s only becuas eof years of theater and such that I’m am to hide my fears well. So I took that aspect of my character and ampliefied it. I added it with the fact that I had switched to five schools from elementary to high school and amplified it and eventually got Aziza.
It is actually quite a simple process. My book takes place in Boston because that’s where I attend college so I know the area well, and it takes place in Egypt because although I’ve never been, I’m in love with Egyptian culture so I am well-researched on the area, ancient and modern.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with coming up with a character completely from scratch, in fact it’s great. But in my case, it made the story a hundred times more worth telling, because it isn’t just the story of some made up girl, it’s partially the story of my life. Becuase throughout my senior year at a new school I developed a much better sense of who I was as a person. The only main difference (other than the fact that I’m pretty sure I’m not a descendant of Isis) is that I switched form a private to a public school, for Aziza it’s the other way around.
I think it’s also important to not have “Mary Sue” type characters, I’m not going to hate on Bella (that’s overdone), but I like to put my characters through hell. I believe once you put them through hell and see how they react then you’ll get better sense of who they are. In the case of my characters it’s not a metaphorical hell because they actually journey to the Duat (Egyptian Underworld) and face very “hellish” creatures.
So the next time you begin to write a story try to think about ways you can make your characters relatable. If you want to set your character up as perfect do so but make sure to reveal some kind of “secret” character flaw. I’m a big fan of Contemporary and Urban Fantasy so I love reading about real cities and places with an added twist. Also, it’s my personal belief that it’s easier to create a new world than to rebuild or restructure an old one. Rebuilding or restructuring a preexisting world is challenging because you have to work within rules that are already known and stated.
Your thoughts are always welcome…Happy Writing 🙂