I think you've said somewhere you'd be willing to explain your character creation process, and I'm so interested!! 👀 CiE is one of the IFs whose characters feel so ...full! (don't know how to explain 😫) in character asks. they're like, such real-people feeling?? even curt who you said was a late-ish addition. How do you do it? 😲
(for the character creation process specifically: I actually have an ask in my drafts from a while ago where I attempt to explain each character’s inspiration, but it just… man, it was weird. Incoherent, really! But now that I’ve written this post, I think that post can actually make sense. I’ll link to it here when it’s up!)
I think what may have happened with my character creating is that I have rather deeply internalized two bits of writing advice 😅
“You can only be as interesting as you are.” 😦
Now, honestly… I do not recommend this writing advice. 🤣🤣 It’s just… the wording is so judgmental!! I’ve only ever heard it from one person: a professor in my Professional Writing major, the first week or so of college. I think most people struggle pretty hard with finding a sense of unique identity fresh out of high school, so hearing something like this in a creative major at a school full of out-of-state students is just so… 😂 it’s a lot. I feel like it should be fairly obvious that it would shake people’s confidence to an unproductive degree?? But I’ve never been sure of the guy’s intent with it and I really liked him as a professor in general so idk i wonder what sign he was…
My weird little brain has never let go of those words and I mulled over and analyzed that idea for years. I am an interesting person by most standards (i wish i could be less confident about that statement but sadly my life story is A Whole Lot); but most importantly, to me. I interest myself! I’m very introspective and have always strived to understand myself and improve my self-awareness, even before I understood that’s what I was doing. And all that mulling over eventually led me to the realization that no one is uninteresting.
I personally find it virtually impossible for someone to not be interesting. That doesn’t mean I like everyone or want to be friends with the whole world
far from that 😅 It’s just that each of us is our own unique amalgam of backgrounds and traumas and regrets and identities and skill-sets and memories and circumstances—how could that not be an interesting cocktail every single time? even the most ‘boring’ or 'basic’ person has the capacity to be interesting to me, just by virtue of having come into existence in the first place! i swear i can’t figure out what kind of nerd i am but i am very specifically fascinated by we humans ok lol
“Write what you know” 🧐
Ok so… I must strive to know many things. 🤔 I should say yes to something new when I could convince myself to say no. Well, not for the sake of saying yes (I am not what anyone would call a thrill seeker lol), but “write what you know” is one of only a handful of things that helps me swallow down my anxieties, push my boundaries, and actually experience life. There are plenty of times depression kept me pinned to my bed for weeks or months on end and the only thing that got me to say yes to doing something good for myself was “write what you know.” The itching, niggling feeling that I was letting my mental illness fuck with my growth as a writer. And hey. It might ruin my finances, my relationships, and my emotional stability, but the one thing it cannot have is my writing skill. I already know depression and malaise—how about I say yes to that group outing instead tonight. Why don’t I go find something new to know?
And negative experiences? Illness, trauma, despair, tragedy? Well… at least I know it now.
I’m not sure when exactly “Well, at least I’ll be able to write this someday” became a way to console myself at my lowest points in life, but it really, really has 😂 I’m happy to say I don’t rely on that anymore, but it has undeniably helped me pull through some of my darkest depressions. It helps calm me when I’m in uncomfortable situations. It helped me through chemo!
There’s two things that keep me going in life like nothing else: The factual probability that I will be fine enough to keep truckin’ on the other side of what I’m going through, and the thinnest silver lining that I will now have another human experience I can write.
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So anyway—these mindsets are like… the two biggest backdrops to my imagination, I think. Especially when it comes to creating and writing characters. I have terrible episodic memory but I swear I’ve got this like, intuitive database of every person I’ve interacted with. I don’t always succeed in interpreting/reading others; no one does. But I have such an intense interest in human behavior, personalities, and reactions that I rarely forget someone’s… impression, I guess. That just… natural understanding of how someone who believes X and reacts like Y can be expected to behave like Z, or what have you. And I think I get better at correctly recalling and interpreting human behavior as I get older.
now if only I could remember where I put my glasses
It’s weird! And even weirder to try to explain! I’ve never put this stuff into words before 😂😂 I don’t even know if this all makes sense or if I sound like some pretentious windbag, but—it’s as much of an answer I can give for now!