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Where Do Characters Come From?
One of the most exciting things about being a writer is creating the characters. Some characters are carefully planned — their strengths, their weaknesses, their physical appearance — based on what your story needs. Some come from dreams. C.S. Lewis had a dream about a faun wearing a scarf, carrying a bunch of packages while walking through a snowy wood. Thus sprang the character of Mr. Tumnus and his book, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. And some characters just appear, full-drawn and larger than life, from the ether. Such was the case with one of my stories. I was typing away, telling the story of a teenage girl who is on a bus, traveling alone to a large city. The bus stops in Asheville, NC. To my surprise, on the bus comes a handsome, dark-haired, teenage boy, the intelligent, brooding, telepathic John Steed, who hides his insecurities behind a wall of ice. I hadn’t planned on John. He just appeared and refused to be a minor character. He kept doing unexpected things in the story. He became real. I think that at some point John will have to have his own story, so that he and I will finally find some peace.