Teller of Tales

Warning to ALL seemingly innocent Bystanders!


I recently saw something similar to the above graphic on a novelty t-shirt, and it made me realize how often I actually include people I know, have met or witnessed doing something interesting in the local Wal-Mart in the stories I write.   I even come across interesting names at work that I jot down in my composition notebook to possibly utilize in stories to come.

I feel that the best source of inspiration for me, as a writer, comes from those seemingly innocent bystanders who somehow capture my attention.  If they are interesting enough to capture my attention, then wouldn’t it seem fair to say that they would capture the attention of those reading my stories?

And again, not only can those bystanders be inspiration for your characters, but they can also inspire the content.

I recently met a person who was a president of a local neighborhood association here in Indianapolis; in talking with them, I decided that the main character in the novel I am currently working on would also be involved with his neighborhood association.

Always remember…..Inspiration can come from anywhere, anything or anyone!

So if you are a writer…..keep your eyes peeled!

If you are an innocent bystander….keep doing what you are doing!

4 Responses »

  1. I wonder where my characters come from sometimes. I don’t write bios or plot out who should be in what scene and why. They appear on the page. I’m willing to bet they are people I’ve met somewhere in my life and tucked away in my subconscious for future use. Or perhaps I could deconstruct them and discover which 3 or 4 people I borrowed attributes from.


    • Eric – Especially with the fact that you do not plot out your characters, I would say that a lot of them are probably attributes from people you know. One thing that is really difficult for me, is to not assign movie actors or actresses to my characters during the writing process. I do this when I read, which helps me stay tuned into the book (especially if I am not “loving” it). Doing that while writing though can seriously hinder your creativity.


  2. There is a TV program called “Writer’s Room” on the Sundance Channel.Writers from different TV shows get together and discuss the writing process,how they came up with different ideas,etc.If you do not have cable,you probably can find it online somewhere.



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