Sometimes I do things backwards. The other night I was dreaming about being a famous writer. I was getting myself all riled up wanting to yell, "please let me be a writer!" I had to do something to relax my brain so I could get some sleep before my two little alarm clocks woke me up at sunrise.
So I interviewed myself. About an imaginary book. Interviewing myself about an actual manuscript would have been too normal.
|My Burst of Inspiration|
(by ba1969 via sxc.hu)
Interviewer: Lauri, how did you come up with the idea for your amazing, believable character?
Lauri: Well, it was the 2012 Olympics and I was thinking about the drive the athletes have for their sport. They forsake so many things in their lives to focus fully on their passion...
It was my first interview, so I rambled on incessantly for awhile. I woke up enough to flip on the light. I grabbed my purple composition book and wrote down my interview answers. I loved this character my dream future self had created!
Maybe this was a backwards way of developing a story, but voila, I had a character with interesting traits, a key weakness, and obstacles to overcome. I brought in an idea I had previously had for an adult character. Could a teenager be in a situation with stakes that high? Yes.
I could see the supporting characters too. There is the blonde best friend who is the best at everything. Her parents try so hard to be supportive but just end up annoying. Where did this boyfriend come from? He seems to believe she is the best at everything. Ooh, he's a keeper. Who is this sinister guy in the shadow? He believes in her skills too. Let's get to know him more.
I was all a flurry. Six pages shot out of my fingers. For the first time I had the inspiration to write a YA novel. Check back in a few years to see if I let this MC tell her story. I hope it wasn't just a dream.
How do you find your main characters?