Something people have asked me about is how I came up with the characters in my writings. Many times the characters are based on something that I envisioned when trying to capture an audience’s attention to feel a particular emotion or way about a character. Sometimes this is based on segments of my life where I felt a certain way and I try to put these feelings into words for the character for the audience to later relate too. I know, it sounds confusing but that’s the way I look at it. Sometimes certain influences can be from something I saw in my life or a way a person reacts to something. I will change it to make the character different from an actual person I met, but I keep the actions on a similar basis. Sometimes this gets tricky because I try not to mirror everyday life when focusing on fantasy or fiction works. Also I don’t want someone to relate so much to a character that it doesn’t feel like that little bit of escape from reality when reading.
The names are sometimes tricky but usually I start writing without the names in mind. I develop a character and then come up with the name that will later suit them or a name that has a particular meaning. This can be tricky also because I might want that name to mean something in a different country or language than English so it takes some research. When I first was writing Desert Shadows, the character Liam didn’t have a name yet. He was just referred to as “L.” This lasted until editing when I added the name of Lucius for the character but then decided against it because of the names meaning, origin, and other factors. Don’t get me wrong, I find nothing wrong with the name but ultimately it didn’t sit right with me for the character I had in mind.
I am always thinking of future characters for the books I am working on and their names as well. Sometimes when I hit the “writing wall” (Writer’s Block), I have to expand my mind a little. I will look through pictures on the Internet, read some old books of mine that I collect, or type in certain phrases like “Water” or “Fire” and see what names come up for similar meanings. Many times I come up with a whole new character or a list of names for a particular character already developed. Other times I sit wondering about how to introduce something new into the book and my writers block gets worse. Most the time it gets better and opens up a new door for me to go through with the next part of my story or a whole new story altogether.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat