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.