Stolen Identities Week: Real life characters

In Writing on May 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

(Photo credit: dbbent)

When it comes to creating interesting characters, sometimes the best inspiration comes from the people we encounter in our everyday lives.

Not to belittle the writer’s craft, but with quirky mannerisms, notable turns of phrase,  idiosyncrasies and internal contradictions — sometimes real people are just more interesting than the ones we can imagine.

Now usually I’d recommend taking just one or two notable characteristics from your real life inspirations and working them into characters of your own, but this week I want to try something different; this week I’m going to take five people I’ve met and misappropriate their identities in total. Then I’m going to write stories about each of them, based around my own (surely inaccurate) perception of who they are and what their lives might be like.

So here (in no particular order) are the five characters you can look forward to meeting this week:

The Albino Black Cowboy
The Old Bagel Biddy
The Screamer
The Mirror Lady
The Midnight Gypsy

Be on the lookout for the first story later today, and if the mood strikes you I encourage you to try the exercise yourself with a few of the remarkable people you’ve met. Your story can take any form, with the only restriction being that you must know nothing about this person’s life beyond what you’ve gathered through chance observation.

Let’s get to work stealing some identities!*


*I don’t condone the commission of any actual crimes.


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