What is the inspiration for a character when writing a book? Inspiration can take many forms and ends up providing the author with characters that can be used in the book being written.
What Inspires the Name of a Character?
When I first started thinking of ideas for my children’s book The Fairy Hollow Chronicles, I took inspiration from my own children to create the characters. My daughter loved fairies when she was very young so that provided me with the idea for four fairies. Adventures are always fun when you are a child so the idea that the fairies had to go on an adventure was born. Then, the names came easily as I chose names of her friends from elementary school. Now there are three books in the series. The names in Book 3 – The Fairy Hollow Gold Treasure Adventure came from a few relatives including a great niece and nephew! With pirates names such as Captain Bootlace Bill, Lightning Lance and Notorious Nigel, who can resist finding out where the gold treasure is with their help?
What Should Characters Wear?
Authors need to describe their characters. In The Fairy Hollow Chronicles, the four fairies are tiny so it was easy to have them dressed in ballerina tutus with their hair in buns. Ballerinas always wear buns. Young girls who take ballet enjoy wearing the tutus and having their hair in buns. The mayor in the book needed to be in a suit as he means business. The idea for the toad came from various stories I read as a child and also the toad character fits the mayor character perfectly.
For my future book on my Mother’s work with Canadian soldiers during WW2, I can draw inspiration from the photo below which shows her dining out with friends in Vancouver. Three women drinking coffee or tea and eating pastries while smiling with their hats on! The hats are quite fascinating and also all appear to be wearing dresses. All these clues help an author when writing a story to place the characters at a specific period in time. This photo was taken on my Mother’s arrival in Vancouver after the war ended and she had volunteered at the Beaver Club in London. This photo will help me decide on the ending of the book!
Ideas for other books that I am writing came from photographs. Sometimes a photograph can inspire an author to write a story based on what might be happening in that photo. The photos from WW2 in England are an inspiration and ask me to write about what the young men and women in the photos are laughing about, worried about, thinking about and how the war affected them. As the daughter of parents who went through WW2, I am intrigued to include in my book these points to round out my characters.
Inspiration is the Summary of Many Ideas
The inspiration for characters in a book comes from everything including family, friends, photos, artwork, current fashion, and the author’s imagination. By using all these ideas, the characters come to life which makes enjoyable reading for all of us.