Writer’s use various techniques to form their characters. More times than not they are composites of people we know or of people we have observed. We tend to be observers of human nature thus have ample ideas for our writing. Occasionally we let our inspiration sources know they are in a story.
In Sunstone I built a secondary character loosely based on a writer I know online. The man is very intelligent, has a sharp, sometimes cutting wit and, due to deep extenuating life hardships, a gruff, irascible shield. These personality traits were the basis of the character Thom. In the book Thom stays alive by gleaning. It’s a tough way to endure and he rightfully takes pride in that survival. He has a slightly grumpy way of speaking but his actions are honorable and kind. He befriends a newly hired worker in the area (the main character Kes) and looks out for the young man, advising and rescuing him from certain death. Thom even has the last speaking line in the story. This is Edwin who inspired the character.
Over the weekend I read a blog post from Edwin. It appears that he saw the gruff side of the character but not the wonderful aspects of Thom’s personality. That was an unfortunate oversight in his reading. *sigh*
At first I was upset that this man would see Thom in that limited light. By the end of the day I saw the humor of the situation. The whole thing of: ‘“No, I’m not grumpy,” he said grumpily.’ is a LOL moment. I’m still uncertain if he was upset or if it was an example of his cutting humor. The point is the character shows qualities I believe are admirable. I wouldn’t change a single hair on Thom’s head. (Well…Thom is bald but you get my meaning. LOL)
As I stated earlier, writers are observers. Thom and other characters I write into my stories resonate as believable and contribute to the story line. Why bother making characters that don’t. It’s my job as a writer. I hope you enjoy Sunstone and relate to the people residing on the pages.