Thursday, August 29, 2013

via pinterest

For those of you unaware, I opened up the playing ground a few weeks ago for anyone interested to ask questions about my novel, Psithurism. This is part 5 of the answers - you can go back in the archives or simple follow the "q&a" label to read the previous posts. :)
Is Ara inspired by anyone, or have you found anyone subsequent to writing her that matches her personality?

The answer to this question, asked by Jenny, is a little...odd, in nature. But one can't sit around wondering about how she's been inspired, she's got to grab at the reigns of inspiration and run with it!

I'd had an image in my head, inspired by a woman at my {rather large} church, actually. The woman came every week to church with her one adopted child, and I somehow got it into my head that she had some secret, a broken past that was eating her up inside. It didn't help that her default facial expression happened to include a furrowed brow and outthrust lower lip.

I took this inspiration, along with another story idea I'd been pursuing for a ways, and started forming a story around it. 

Originally, Adara was around 30 years old, like the woman at church. However, as I got to understand the plot and her story better, it became necessary to make her a bit younger. Thus, I started this book by telling the story of a eighteen-year-old girl, crafting her past behind her and her future before her.

Not long into the process, I became aware of a few other characters, standing perhaps a bit awkwardly at the edge of my mind and simply waiting for me to mention their names (or, for that matter, to learn their names...). I knew I would need a counterpart to my main character, and a villain would obviously be necessary somewhere in the plot, but I just wasn't there yet. Originally, the counterpart I chose was supposed to be the villain. But he proved to me in time to be altogether too endearing for the role, and I had to pull in another of the waiting people, one of those holding suspicious council in the darker regions of my brain.

Of course, as the plot progressed, several more characters joined the race, and before I knew it I had a whole cast on my hands, each person with a story that didn't want to wait to be told. There, of course, have been times where I had to tie up one character just to get the veil off a weaker one, and your typical prodding at particularly stubborn character's brains, but the process otherwise has been good.

There you go, Miss Jenny. You asked for the inspiration behind Adara and somehow I managed to tell you the whole story of how I began Psithurism. ;P


  1. so... did you find out the story of the poor woman at your church?

    1. I didn't. :( I don't know her name, and I only see her every once in a while, so to find info out about her would be rather difficult. :)

  2. I think that's interesting that you had a real live person from which you gathered the rudiments of Adara's character, which is why I asked the question. Writers who base characters consciously off real people always fascinate me, as I am not aware of doing any such thing myself. They say you can't invent faces (one reason why you can't see faces in dreams), so you are always seeing someone you know or have seen, or cobbling together facial aspects of people you know or have seen, when you think of a character's features. I am not aware of doing this until after I have well established the character.

    I also have an unspoken rule about writing or drawing people who are still alive. My nature runs more toward critical than charitable, and I'm afraid I would offend if I tried to reproduce someone in fiction. >_<

  3. Well, there is something to be said about not basing characters off of real-life people. For one, you can look at those people normally, instead of having a constant back-thought of what they've done in your book. In the same vein of of what said, I can't stand a perfect character, and therefore all end up doing/saying/feeling something troublesome, and then I can never quite be friends with their real-life counterpart. :P I guess that's something we pay for being writers. :/

  4. How fascinating that is, Bree! I can imagine how your writerly imagination must have taken off at this real-life person. I can't say that any of my characters are directly born from real-life ones, but I have found much inspiration from those I know - those I encounter which naturally shapes the natures of the people I write.

    Hmm, Psithurism is taking on a whole new aspect the more I hear of it, and I must say it is thoroughly intriguing :D!!

    1. Naturally! Adara is really the most interesting of my character-inspiration stories; the others are simply chiseled a bit by the people in my life, instead of this more dramatic telling. ;)

      I'm glad you're being intrigued - it is (of course) my aim when I mention a WIP, but all the same I am happy to know it.


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