Blog Chain–How’re My Character’s Different…From Me?

Time for a new blog chain topic!

Sandra headed up this chain with two questions. I’ve chosen the first.

Have you ever created a character different from yourself in some significant way, such as (but not limited to) different gender, race, ethnic group, religion, or sexual orientation? If so, what, if any, research did you do to portray these differences? Was this character a main character, secondary character, or walk-on? Did these differences have an impact on the story?

My first novel’s main character was a woman in her 30’s. She was a psychiatrist, working in a facility in the northeast.

Not too far out of my comfort zone. Well, until the soul of a pissed off sorcerer decided to make her life a living hell.


Last spring, I embarked on what I thought was the story of a 16 year old girl who was kidnapped from her home, brainwashed, and used for her telekinetic abilities. Little did I realize that I’d end up in the head of the lead scientist in the story, a man in his forties, quite comfortable with dehumanizing people and womanizing.

Was NOT expecting that.

As I continued to work on what was now “his” story, I found out he had issues of his own. He devalued others because he was devalued as a child. An empath himself, his parents abandoned him. A scientist took him in, provided for him, paid for his education, lorded over him.

By fall, I realized he needed redemption. Bye-bye 16 year old girl. (She went rogue anyway.)

I won’t give away the ending, but I must say he was the most interesting character I’ve met to date. He thought logically, he loved problem-solving, he loved women, and he completely unraveled when he realized his evils.


Interestingly, I did not do research, per se, but I imagined myself in his head. I saw the world through his eyes. Reacted to events as he would (in the story, not real life. Just sayin’).

I learned a lot. It helped me to realize imagination does exist. And that I can use mine to be creative.

For more information on this topic, see Bonny’s post before me and Michelle’s post tomorrow!

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14 comments on “Blog Chain–How’re My Character’s Different…From Me?

  1. Sounds like an interesting character! How ironic he’s an empath! Was he difficult to write at first?

    • lbdiamond says:

      I really had fun with the womanizing part. I mean, how often do women get to “enjoy” that? *ducks head as the offended throw rotten tomatoes*

      Then he had the “oh, I see the error of my ways” moment and completely spiraled. Oh yeah, that was fun too, LOL! 😀

  2. Zoe says:

    Now THAT sounds like it was a blast to write! Not sure if I could write from an older man’s POV, but now I’m itching to branch out a little 😀

  3. Christine Fonseca says:

    You and write in a similar fashion – must be that psych background, heh???

  4. Great post! I envy you psych-types. Sometimes I feel like I’m really missing out on some great character development!

  5. Cheree says:

    That sounds like a great character. Very interesting.

  6. I find it very interesting how your focus shifted from the girl to the man. He sounds like a great character!

  7. Mayowa says:

    Great post!

    I had a female MC in my first novel and it was pretty difficult because i couldn’t be sure exactly if she was acting appropriately. Ended up bugging every woman i know to make sure hehe.

    Thanks for all your help on QT!

  8. I love your line about imagination. Research is great–it can tell us facts and other concrete info–but it can’t define people. Only imagination can put you in the head of someone totally different from yourself. Awesome.

  9. kat says:

    I agree with Shaun — 100 percent.

    Research is important, but imagination is imperative.

  10. Very awesome process! And your story sounds fascinating!!

  11. Ah, I love it when a character just totally takes over the story and makes it their own. I also am a big fan of just getting inside of a character’s head.

  12. cole gibsen says:

    that’s so cool how you had a character take over like that. I just love it when that happens 🙂

  13. Your scientist character sounds so awesome! I love that you let him take the reins like that!

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