Where I find inspiration for my characters

I never lack imagination for creating characters. Sometimes they arise unexpectedly in relation to my main character(s). in that case, I often doubt, at first. “Where did this person come from?” “Should I even include them?” Inevitably, they stay and tell me who they are. It’s just that I didn’t know them at first, like encountering strangers in a store or new class. They often fulfill surprising roles, such as giving my MC(s) reason to explain something without expository doldrums. The internal world of the MC can then get externalized through dialogue.

What is maybe more important is why my characters can be full and consistent, with their own unique personalities. I see references to tools used for planning out complex characters. For me, it’s about sinking down into the scene I’m writing and living with the characters. There came a point in my life when that was more possible, after I’d started practices that deepened my sense of my inner world, such as daily reflective journaling and inner work, observing who I am in interactions, sitting with difficult honesty. I won’t say I’m a great meditator, but if I make slowing down fun, with candles and incense, I can feel myself become mist. Some of my imaginings, like growing a dragon tail or sprouting faery wings, help me get an idea of mind powers. I suspect that has helped me extrapolate further abilities, beyond those commonly thought of.

I wonder if I would have a purpose for writing if I didn’t include mind powers. Maybe that’s why I have trouble writing nonfiction. There are so many topics that need to be written about powerfully, but I have a hard time suffusing factual, nonmagical material with dynamism and flare. One day maybe I’ll find my way to that.

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