Where Do You Get Your Characters From?

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If you’ve read my blog before, you probably already aware of my love of paranormal television shows: Supernatural, Being Human, Smallville, Vampire Diaries. When I have a hankering to watch an old show I’ll tune in to Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Hercules. Pretty much if it has a supernatural theme, I’m interested. The reason why (besides the fact that they’re fun and interesting) is because they get my creative juices flowing. Something about watching paranormal stories sparks new ideas in my brain.

Many of my characters have been brainstormed out of the creative flow of energy I get from watching paranormal programs. But there’s another place I get my characters: Greek mythology.

In college I double majored in Anthropology and Classical Studies. For those of you who have no clue what Classical Studies is, it’s the study of Greek and Roman mythology. I had no idea what I was going to do with the degree; I just knew I really loved the subject. (I should have known it would go perfectly with a fiction-writing career. Sadly it took me many long years to figure that out.)

To anyone who loves to write paranormal and is looking for fresh ideas, I urge you to examine Greek or Roman mythology (or pretty much the mythology of any culture; there’s a vast world of interesting history out there). I mean, you’ve got a god of thunder (Zeus), a god of the underworld (Hades), a god of dreams (Morpheus), a god of the sea (Poseidon), and that’s just to start! Just thinking about it gets that creative wheel in my head spinning. The problem then becomes which idea I’ll go with first.

So I’m curious, where do your characters come from?


15 thoughts on “Where Do You Get Your Characters From?

    V. Mark Covington said:
    February 18, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Yes, I love to use the Greek and Roman Gods in my novels, check out “Bullfish” at Amazon. Yes that’s a Quinotaur on the cover.

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      February 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

      Love that! There are such amazing monsters to be found in mythology. It always inspires me. 🙂

    Rebecca Ryals Russell said:
    February 18, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I could have written this post myself. I love all of the same shows (except vampire stuff, tired of that) and I adore mythology and put in into story every chance I get. Isn’t writing fun?

      Roni Lynne said:
      February 18, 2011 at 11:54 am


      In print, I am SOOOOOO tired of vamps. At this point, if I’m reading the back blurb & I see the word vamp, it’s almost an immediate return to shelf—unless something else about the story hooks me.

      On the screen, it depends. I love True Blood (Eric, not Bill) and of course, BBC’s Being Human.

      I used to watch Moonlight and Blood Ties when they were on the air. And I catch Buffy & Angel re-runs a few times a week on the channels that air them.

      Maybe I’m the opposite of you, then? LOL.



        Rosalie Lario responded:
        February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm

        You know, I thought I was tired of vamps too, but then I picked up Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series in January of last year and my love affair with vamps started all over again. Now I’ll just try it if it looks good.

    kayspringsteen said:
    February 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

    One day I wake up and they are just there. Sometimes my stories are started by characters, sometimes by a plot idea. Often the characters are people I’ve written in other stories. But mostly the characters are just there for me. It’s undoubtedly different since I write contemporary.

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      February 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      Kay, sometimes my characters will come to me through dreams. I have a tough time remembering my dreams, though, so they’re just a jumbled mess waiting for me to make sense of them. The story I’m preparing to start features shadowalkers. I had a dream about a shadowalker three months ago, but it took me until a few weeks ago to figure out what they heck they were!

    Roni Lynne said:
    February 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Music! Sometimes I’ll see a video on one of the music video channels & it will inspire either a character or a storyline/scene…or sometimes it’s the musicians themselves.
    Actors/movies too. Chris Pine (Star Trek) is such a hottie IMO! I’ve twisted his boy-next-door good looks & made him the villain in one of my WIPs. And a Ville Valo (H.I.M.)-insipired character is actually a good guy.
    I’ve also modeled some of my characters after people that I went to school with. The hero in my teen succubus WIP is modeled after my high school crush. I found him on FB a few months ago & he is STILL a great looking guy! The one that got away…



      Rosalie Lario responded:
      February 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      I’m not music-inspired at all. I know, I know…shoot me. Music just doesn’t do it for me, and I sure can’t listen to music while writing. But yeah, actors and movies definitely do the trick. 🙂

    Ciara Knight said:
    February 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I used some Greek mythology mixed with some biblical interpretation for my YA paranormal. Great ideas, Rosalie!

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      February 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      I love that, Ciara. There’s just such good stuff there.

    Julia Rachel Barrett said:
    February 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I adore mythology – from all cultures! I use a great deal of the hero myth in my work. Lovely post!

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      February 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      So do I, Julia. I remember Babylonian mythology being pretty awesome too. 🙂

    Bart Palamaro said:
    February 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Vamp, Shmamp. I prefer regular people doing extraordinary things in response to extraordinary events and situations.

      Rosalie Lario responded:
      February 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      That’s good too. 🙂 For me, it’s fun to be thrown into a whole new world filled with mythical creatures.

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