Join Free! | Login 

   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Edie Batstone, iErnest Paquin, iPeter Oszmann, iRobert Davis, iAlexandra* OneLight*® Authors & Creations, iRichard Harris, iBlak Rayne, i
  Home > Publishing > Articles
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Cheryl Wright

  + Follow Me   

· 19 titles
· 46 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Aug, 2002

   Success Story
   Contact Author
   Read Reviews

Subscribe to the Cheryl Wright Newsletter. Enter your name and email below and click "sign me up!"

· Running Scared

· Outside the Square Fiction Workshop

· I Wanna Win! – Tips for Becoming an Award Winning Writer

· Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories

· A Winter Sabbatical

· Kelly Get Your Gun (working title)

· Don't Tell, Don't Die

· Saving Emma - Romantic Suspense Novel

· The Ultimate Professional

· Stress Relief Using Aromatherapy

· The House That Talks

· Ode to the Medical Team

· Glad to be back

· Feet

· Who Stole the Cookie Jar?

· Curtis Roy - The Light of our lives

· Karbeethong Lodge

· Pain

         More poetry...
· Sold!

· Book Trailer for Saving Emma

· Suite101

· Romance Writers of New Zealand Conference

· Long Story Short Writing School

· Free Autographed Books!

· #3 Best Seller!

Cheryl Wright, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Books by Cheryl Wright
Mysterious Liaisons: Creating Characters from Life
By Cheryl Wright
Last edited: Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Posted: Saturday, July 03, 2004

Share    Print   Save
Recent articles by
Cheryl Wright

• The Ultimate Professional
• Stress Relief Using Aromatherapy
           >> View all 3
Have you ever tried to create characters from people you've seen, but don't know personally?

This article will show you how...

Strange things happen when you travel by train.

When I still worked a ‘day job’ I travelled to and from work by train. On my normal travel time days, I endured the everyday peak time hassles. But when I had to attend breakfast meetings – which were at least once a month, sometimes more – I always encountered the most intriguing of characters. 

He had obviously been up all night; his face was unshaven and his clothes rumpled. More often than not, he would lay stretched out across two or three seats, catching up on missed sleep. His eyes were red and bleary with exhaustion, and his bow tie lay loose around his neck.

As I sat reading my book, outwardly engrossed, I couldn’t resist glancing up from time to time trying to fathom this ‘regular’ on the early morning train.

Many a time I endeavoured to bring this absorbing character to life. Was he a waiter or doorman? Perhaps he worked in a motel and involved with room service, or maybe some other hospitality-type service. As I worked my way through the occupations he might boast, I also pondered on his life as a criminal. 

I imagined the scruffy looking gent as a cat burglar, a gem thief and even a conman. His suit was the puzzling part – immaculate except for its wrinkled state, I was sure he had to be involved in something more sinister. His dirty shoes were quite mesmerizing as well. 

The breakfast meetings continued for around three years, and you guessed it, my mysterious gent was nearly always there. I still wonder about him, and have used him as a basic template for some of the characters I have created. In particular he was the model for an undercover cop character I used in one of my novels.

So what was it that caught my eye? Many elements of characterisation were involved with this stranger on the train:

*The unknown; where did he work, what did he do for a job, where did he live, was he married, did he have children, and why was he travelling from the outer suburbs into the central business district?  (And not the other way around)

*His appearance; unshaven after just one night (or so I believed), bleary eyed - why was he so tired and wanting to sleep, why was his suit so wrinkled, did his shoes start out clean or did they become grimy at work?

*His personality; seemingly quiet – although he mostly slept, tossing and turning as though something bothered him - curled in a ball at times, always looking toward the floor when he was awake.

*Nationality; undetermined, possibly Italian or Greek, maybe part Australian – olive skin with very black hair, dark stubble on his face at six-thirty or seven in the morning.

*Motivation; now there’s the thing – I could make it whatever appealed. Inspiration flashed through my mind each time I saw him; different ideas on every occasion:

a)     He was on the run from the law; murdered his wife and family and was taking a never-ending train journey

b)     He was a jewel thief hiding out

c)      An actor after a long night on stage, then the celebratory party

d)     A writer researching a character

e)     A professor at the local university (but why the bow tie?)

f)        Maitre d’ at a posh hotel

g)     An undercover cop or private investigator

Many questions remained unanswered, and always will. I never did get the courage to walk right up and ask him, but often pondered doing so. Still, I do believe I acted correctly – after all, if I had found out the truth about this mysterious, remarkable character, I would not have been blessed with the inspiration I’ve been lucky enough to acquire from my muse.

(And maybe, just maybe, a gun might have appeared from thin air?  Oh, sorry - that was also in my imagination!) 

Web Site Writer2Writer

Reader Reviews for "Mysterious Liaisons: Creating Characters from Life"

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Reviewed by Michael Charles Messineo 7/4/2004
Cheryl, Thanks for the excellent character study. It matters not who he is or what he does... It only matters that you have captured his multiple possibilities for the creative mind to ponder.


Popular Publishing Articles
  1. Why I Stopped Caring and Learned to Love m
  2. Being a Children's Book Author in Today's
  3. Get Published - Know Your Markets
  4. 5 Things a Professional Manuscript Editor
  5. Transmedia Story-Telling (in a Holographic
  6. Writing Advice From Dr. Seuss
  7. Chiki Sarkar and the New Crop of Indian Ed
  8. Writing Tips From JK Rowlings
  9. Writing Advice From Ray Bradbury
  10. How to Write the Novel to Publishing Stan

You can also search authors by alphabetical listing: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen

© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.