Creating Fictional Characters

No one creates characters out of thin air. They are bits and pieces of people you know, have seen, or read about. Sometimes the main character has a lot in common with the author. I’ve never read a Stephen King novel, but I know that his main character is often a novelist.

While writing THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER, I identified with several characters, especially “Effie Belle Butler,” an airbrushed image of me, with all of my strengths and none of my weaknesses. Writing a novel is like daydreaming about who you would like to be and who you would like to be with.


7 thoughts on “Creating Fictional Characters

  1. Eric Alagan

    It’s true – the characters in our books are drawn from people we know and our life experiences. I wonder how truthful authors are – when they deny this fact. Then again, they could be exceptionally gifted people :-)

    1. Sheryl Wright Stinchcum Post author

      True. I’ve been thinking about authors who put themselves to some extent in their stories: Hemmingway (“A Farewell to Arms”), the Yearling (can’t think of the female author’s name, Evelyn Waugh (“Brideshead Revisited), Jane Austin (Persuasion), Augusta Evans Wilson (“St. Elmo).

  2. Sheryl Wright Stinchcum Post author

    Even the most brilliant mind cannot create something out of nothing. The great American novel “Moby Dick” was inspired by a true seafaring venture that resulted in cannibalism. The biggest lie in literature is the one we find in the front of many a novel. It reads something like this: “Any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.”

  3. Vernon

    God has put on my heart two months ago to write a novel. I have a pretty good idea how it’s going to end. I’m saying this because I know how God works. He have been sending a lot of authors to my blog. Now I’m visiting your blog and you write about all the things that I feared about writing. It’s time I start writing. Thanks!

  4. Sheryl Wright Stinchcum Post author

    Hi Vernon. I’m delighted to hear that God has inspired you to write a novel. The fact that you have a good idea of how the book will end is very important. Writing a novel is a lot like taking a journey. As long as you know your destination, you will head in the right direction.

    Don’t worry about the process. Some know the entire story even before they write a word. Others (like me) know the ending and the main characters but little else. The story develops as I write. Everyone’s mind works differently because God created us as unique individuals.

    I look forward to hearing more about your novel and will follow your blog. You are about to embark on one of the most exciting adventures of your life. May God bless you as you write for Him.


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