Where do Characters Come From?

Do you plot or do you let the characters do the plotting?

Each writer is unique in how they create a story. I don’t like to plot the entire story before I write. I find it boring. Once I’ve plotted it, I’m no longer interested in writing the novel.

I don’t want to give the wrong idea about how I write. I’m very organized. I keep track of everything in a spreadsheet. At the end of a day of writing, I make myself update the spreadsheet. It’s not the most exciting thing to do, but since I haven’t plotted the story, it’s important for me to keep track of it.

Sometimes when I update the spreadsheet, the next scene magically announces itself to me. Then I jot a few notes, leave it for the night and have a starting point the next morning.

I have a general idea of what the story is, sometimes I even know the climax, but I never know when or where new characters are going to appear. I don’t base characters on people I know. I find this hard to do as it is restrictive, and again, not that interesting. I like to make them up from scratch.
For me new characters usually appear when I take my protagonist to a new location. Somehow that stimulates my brain.  Mostly, it’s the nastier characters that appear out of nowhere, so I don’t know what that says about me.
Where do your characters come from?


9 thoughts on “Where do Characters Come From?

  1. I used to not plot, but I’ve found recently that’s it’s essential. I do leave a little hole in the end, though, just to keep it interesting.

    Characters, however, just come to life on their own usually. Not sure where they come from.


    1. Jennifer, It’s great to leave a hole iso you keep your interest up. It’s cool how to the characters come to life on their own. I’m looking forward to reading Make Believe when it comes out this fall. You must be excited.


  2. This is a fascinating peek into your process. Ultimately, of course, I know that my characters come from different facets of my own personality, but it does feel as if they were there all along, and I was simply unaware of their existence.
    As far as plotting, I try to have my main scenes sketched out (who is in them, what changes) and a rough idea of where and how the story will end. Then the fun starts, and I let my characters loose … 🙂


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