For today at least The Cosy Knave Baton is back home.
For question 7 see Bill´s post yesterday – or perhaps today, depending on matters of geography that are beyond me ;)
No matter what writers say, I think they are all inspired by people they have met in real life. I don´t mean we just snatch other people´s lives to use them in our books, but real life is where we are introduced to the odd ways of other people, after all.
Apart from minor characters, I don´t consciously set out to use my neighbour, my colleague or old school friends, however. What I do when I begin plotting a new story is make a table of the characters I already know I need. And for each name, I jot down a few pieces of information.
A few examples from The Cosy Knave:
Rhapsody Gershwin – librarian, curious & enthusiastic
Archibald Penrose – honest, hardworking, incorruptible – not imaginative but dogged
Mark Baldwin/Marco Bellini – charming gentleman, but also vain
Tuxford Wensleydale – chubby man with double chin (Tuxford = a cheese)
Olivia Cadbury-Flake – proud of her position and name, but as flakey as it suggests
Arnold Kickinbottom – a quirky mushroom lover, stubborn, a real pain in you-know-where
I also try to keep track of who got blue eyes and chestnut hair, who are green-eyed and freckled, etc, but I don´t describe people awfully much. Their personality is much more important to me. And from these first jottings, I try to let the characters take over their parts of the story, try to set them free to do what they do best (or worst).
So even though I am the kind of writer who has to plan my story thoroughly before I begin writing, I don´t write long lists about my characters´ background, education, family, hobbies etc. I know I will have to make a proper archive before or later, as I have ideas for some new Archie & Rhapsody stories, but that is for remembering what they did and looked like in the first story, not because I want to know too much about them before I jump into the next adventure in their company.
8: What makes your cosy cosy?
For the answer, please visit Col, a brand-new blog friend of mine, tomorrow.