Hi James,

I have a question for you. I was looking through your library and wondered how you came up with your stories? Looking at your characters, I was curious where you come up with a rather haggard looking dark angel, a girl who I guess is a half dragon, and I guess a shapeshifter? I’ve been trying to write a story for a long time, but I always struggle to come up with new and exciting characters for my story. I was wondering what you draw influence from and what drives you to write not only your characters, but your plot and world creation.

Thanks,
Tamera


Hi Tamera,

Good questions.

Honestly, the answer isn’t an easy one to give. For me personally, it’s a combination of a few different things. Let’s explore them individually and then go into how they work together.

For starters, I’m a self-diagnosed scatter brain. At any given point, I’ve got a million different things going on in my head at once; equations, storylines, problem solving, trying to guess what kind of calamity my daughter is causing in the other room, what I’m going to do in my next meeting, the list goes on.

Next, I have an unconventional view of the world. What do I mean by that? Put it this way… I live on the Coastline. When I’m at the beach, I love looking out on the ocean and watching the boats pass by. Think about it, what do most people see when they look out at something like that? Most people would tell you that they see sailboats and a clear horizon. It’s very peaceful and tranquil.
Me? Not so much. You ask me what I see, I’ll tell you that I see all that stuff too, but perhaps I’ll also see a pair of pirate ships duking it out.  Perhaps I’ll see a modern battleship desperately trying to fight off a dragon attack. I could also see a bunch of landing craft coming in to occupy the beach. My imagination works in a way that I not only see the world as it is, but I see it as though it were a scene out of an action packed movie. I see what could be in addition to what is.

Finally, when I listen to music, I not only enjoy it, often I get a picture of what scene in a story it could apply to. I’m not necessarily talking about the lyrics either. I’m talking about the melody and the sound of the voices singing. Let’s dissect this, shall we?

So this is one of my favorite non-metal songs coming out of the 80s. The song is called ‘The Breakup Song’ and it’s lyrics follow this. Yet, listening to the melody, I hear something very different. Close your eyes, put aside the lyrics and listen to the melodies. When I do this, I see two people, (friends, lovers, etc) in the middle of a very perilous situation. I see them having a brief moment of peace where they can just relax together and take their minds off of the horror that will soon embrace them. Perhaps they know that one of them isn’t going to walk away from what’s to come, like this is the last chance they’ll have to spend any time together. It’s dark, mellow, bittersweet, and the mood is simply dark.

So now that you have an idea about the various mental tools and triggers I have, now let’s put them together. Once I have a scene in mind, likely from a setting I’ve been party to, my mind starts calculating various directions that the scene can go. Various musical numbers also contribute to the mood and direction of the scene. Then I just write.

When it comes to characters, I often create characters just for the fun of it and then save them for a later time. Many of the characters from this library I created will then be taken from that library and integrated into the story. I’ll often try to just think up what I’d consider an interesting character; mixed race in some cases, pureblood in others. Sometimes I’ll go with a fantasy creature, other times just a regular human, and always try to decide beforehand what kind of personality this person will have; happy and outgoing, dark and dismal, angry and short tempered, bad with a good heart, or some combination.

In any case, I hope this gives you a little bit better a picture of how I write my stories, and maybe a little incite into how to write your own. That said, let’s open it up to the floor. Readers, do you have any brainstorming advice for our friend here? Let her know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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