It's been a little while since I poked my nose in here at the blog. I thought I would drop by to talk about where the fuel for building characters come from (for me anyway).
Characters... where do they come from, how can a writer create a realistic person on paper? For me I like to think of characters as a fire. To build a good fire, that will burn strong and true, you need the right fuel, and you need to lay it out right.
My characters are always a mishmash, part out my head, and part from the real world. I've never used people I know in my stories, but things they've done add elements or shadings to my characters. Mostly though, it's little bits and pieces I pick up around me as I go about my day-to-day that help me build characters.
Here's an example. I recently went to a wonderful writers conference and one of the workshops was on sword-fighting. It was hosted by 4 wonderful gentlemen, dressed for a fight, with real swords in hand. Not only was it informative, but seeing real fighting in action was great. Not only that however, those men and their enthusiasm etc... were fuel. A little twig here, a larger log there, all fuel for future characters.
You looking for a little fuel of your own, or just want to watch two guys whack each other with swords? Here's Nic Harrison & Shay doing a demo (they kept things pretty slow so we could see what they were doing).
Hope you enjoyed :)