Literature has produced some of the best, most unforgettable characters out there. It’s one of the first things an author considers when writing a book. And for me, it was the best part about creating my story. I worked in Residence Life for years, and I must admit there are certain character types that are more common than others. Yeah, I know everyone is unique and special but we all have gotten that, “you know, you remind me of…,” comment. And this, my friend, happens often in Student Affairs.
Months ago I came across this video and it made me smile. The students pretty much nailed a few of the character types among RAs. However, The Hall Speaks #fallsemester is not a remake of Mean Girls, but I could place two of my characters into this staff model they mention in the video. Check it out;)
So, to make the cut for my novel, I wanted character types that would be relatable. Where RAs reading would be like, “I know someone just like that.” That way, none of the people I worked with would feel like I was writing specifically about them. Each character is made-up of 2-3 people, I did this for three reasons: 1) 15 years from now I want to read my novels and remember the people who impacted my life 2) I knew if I based my characters off of real people, I’d never give up writing about them, and 3) It’s just more fun this way, at least for me. Also, I noticed as my story evolved, so did the depth of my characters. Even though my characters are loosely based off of former co-workers, by the end, they really became their own person.
However, I always wonder how other writers come up with characters. Do they just come to you in a dream? 🙂 I haven’t had that luck yet. Until then, I’ll keep writing about real ones.