Pirate, Ghost, Pilot, Magician's Son (Melissa Robbins)

                Hmm, that title reminds me of the book Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but really they are all my characters. Where do they come from? Simple answer. All around me from all walks of life and sometimes I don’t even know where they come from.

               One character, named for an ancestor of mine, appeared in a dream, probably after researching her genealogy. She was a ghost who wanted my heroine to solve the murders of her family that happened decades before.

                When I was a teenager, I created a character, because of my sad crush on Jim Hawkins. Yes, that Jim from Treasure Island. I crushed on a book character! Annie was Captain Flint’s granddaughter trying to break free from his pirate legacy.

                My son and his heart condition inspired another hero. The two share similar features, but my hero is WAY naughtier than my son. As writers, it’s important to let our characters make mistakes and remember that some teen boys don’t think like middle-aged women who know it’s wrong to break into houses, etc. 

                Some of my characters exhibit traits I wish I had. The extroverts I wish I could be. One beautiful blonde springs to mind. Vivian can wrap any man around her finger with her looks and sultry voice. Her friend, one of my heroines, tries her best to be like Vivian and she fails miserably at it and always seems to get herself into even more trouble.

                Many of my characters are Royal Air Force pilots from WW2. What a bunch of naughty boys! These brave men loved every day like it could be there last. My Connor is like that. Doesn’t care what his commanding officers think or for that matter anyone else. Doing what he isn’t supposed to do is what usually keeps him safe. Connor almost never sleeps without a woman by his side, but does he do that because he loves women or to frighten away the nightmares?

                Another character I’m currently creating has a family life quite different from my own or one I grew up with. His father is a magician and his mother is his father’s assistant. The family travels across Europe mesmerizing the nobility and commoners with a great magic show in a time just before WW2 when the political atmosphere is crumbling around everyone. He goes from living out of a suitcase to staying in one spot. Where did he come from? I’m not 100% sure. His older brother is a classmate of another hero of mine. The first chapter (or maybe it's a prologue) came to life one very early morning when I lay in bed awake. 
              The most important thing about characters is to welcome them when they do appear. I swear I suffer from multiple personality disorder, but don’t all writers?


Pat Davids said...

Nice post. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Pirates and pilots and ghosts, oh my!

It's always fun to see where someone else finds their characters.

Joan Vincent said...

Great post. Your comment about not knowing where some of your characters come from struck me. I hadn't thought of it but it's absolutely true. Some do just come out of the blue, so to speak. Can't wait to read some of your pirates and pilots and ghosts.

Melissa Robbins said...

Thanks, ladies. The pirate story is one of those stories that will stay under the bed, but I hope the pilot stories will be realized one day.