Random Inspirations

Welcome to my blog, full of fun inspirations and insights on writing, self-publishing, and more!

Perplexed by Life and/or Human Nature? Turn it into a Story!

on August 4, 2014

One of the pieces of feedback that I receive most about my books is that the characters, situations, and feelings are believable and relatable. And there are reasons for this. First of all, I’m an avid lifelong reader, and have been exposed to various types of literature. I know how touching it is to feel for a character, so I’ve learned techniques to create reader empathy for my own characters. Also, I love to channel my characters, really becoming absorbed in their worlds. And, most of all, I am fascinated by human nature and all of its oddities, which is probably why I enjoy making up fictional characters so much in the first place.

One of the most interesting things about getting well-acquainted with new people is learning to interpret their moods, and eventually being able to guess how they will react to certain situations. That’s why, with family, significant others, and close friends, we can often predict how they’ll handle the ups and downs of life–and even sometimes what they’re thinking or about to say. This same concept applies as we get to know our fictitious characters. Even if we create character profiles detailing everything from childhood background to favorite color before we ever start writing, we still have a “getting-to-know you” period with these products of our imagination, as they develop and become more real to us.

Perplexed face courtesy of SHERV.net

Perplexed face courtesy of SHERV.net

Human nature, and life itself, is so perplexing, full of twists and turns. Even when we know people well, they can surprise us and throw us a curveball, and when we’re writing, our characters sometimes do much the same thing. Human nature can be fickle, influenced by so many factors, and sometimes, uncharacteristic behavior can be most intriguing of all. Observing it in someone you know is interesting, but creating it in your own characters can be pure magic.

The other aspect of human nature that I find incredible is evolution. This is why, in my books, I always choose to write about dynamic characters as opposed to static ones. One of the most telling parts of a person’s character is how (s)he responds to challenges in life, and how life experiences shape personality. Just as a jagged rock in the ocean wears down and becomes smooth over time from the continued bashing of the waves, so can people’s characters be molded by their good and bad experiences. Will your character become rougher and tougher when (s)he faces adversity, or smoother and more worn down? You, as the author, are in control of that. Embrace it!

Some of my most dramatic books have been written in times when I’ve been most perplexed by my own life or my relationships with those around me. Do you find this to be true in your own work? I’d love to hear your reflections and experiences!

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