Monday, June 7, 2010
I'm the daughter of a World War II veteran (paratrooper, U.S. Army, 1941-1947). My husband graduated from Texas A&M, a member of the Corps of Cadets and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He missed Vietnam by a few months. The last school I taught at I had the privilege of working with a man who was a former CIA operative. He served overseas for several years and through quite a few difficult missions.
All real people.
All people who have influenced my life to varying degrees, and merged into the person I created to be my main character in The Cost of Love--Dean Dreiser.
When our manuscripts are rejected, we receive comments like "I couldn't connect to your characters," or "The writing was fine, but it wasn't quite right for us." In truth, often our writing suffers from being stuffed with paper dolls. There's no excuse for that, since our lives are full of people who live and laugh, suffer and bleed, sacrifice and sometimes die in the process.
Whether we're writing a romantic thriller or a paranormal, we are responsible for filling our writing with people; after all, it's the people our readers care about. Best to make them real, make them breath.
All you have to do is look around you to find the inspiration. Recently I heard a song by John Rich, and it brought back to me in a few words all these people and what they had been through--my father, my husband, my friend, and yeah--my character, Dean. Real people with real stories.