Aside: Kelst and Ayne was searched on Google! One of the hits I received was from that. Epic. Those two crazy kids are gaining some traction.
Writers are generally a more insular group. Introverts gain their energy with alone time, or only hanging out with a small, generally tight knit, group. When around large crowds, it often feels lonely. Energy is simply drained from the victim. This makes it sometimes challenging to meet new people outside of the usual group. When you don’t move far from home base, though, you don’t meet many new people to inspire ideas.
I understand there are some out there very capable of meeting new people. They flourish in social settings. A lot of us, though, write because we really like what is in our head. Events and meetings are usually always better in our imagination. The masquerade ball, though it was incredibly fun, was very different than what I had imagined. Yet, without these new experiences, we lose out on characters we could otherwise use. At the end of the day, while we can do so much to create new concepts, without fresh ideas nothing will grow.
Last week I had the blessing of going to Kansas City, MO. It has a beautiful plaza, we were at an extremely nice hotel, and there was food I couldn’t possibly all fit into my shrinking stomach. When my mother saw a picture of what I had eaten she asked, “What was that?” I didn’t remember, so I smartly replied, “A cow.” However, that poor dead cow had nothing to do with what I’m aiming for. The trip was for business in order to learn about one of our lines, and salesmen in all the tiers are fascinating individuals, just about exclusively extroverts. You have to be, going out to all these meetings, visiting people for the first time, having people go off on you and finding out how to make them happy. These people are the definition of extrovert.
I met one particular extrovert on this trip which was so memorable and amazing I had to make a character about him. The man was direct. The more I knew of him, the more I realized he was a true man. Fights were an okay way to settle bullying. He always told the truth about what we looked at. There were no smoke and mirrors about “Well, if you avoid talking about this description, and instead hint towards this other feature we have, it’s the greatest thing on the market.” By the time I left I knew what was good, what was bad, and how to sell the unit honestly.
There were also stories and analogies for everything. On top of that, they were hilarious, and once you started laughing this guy kept going. We still got the information, but I had never been so focused during a meeting simply because of how he presented. So this guy has become one of my inspirations for a character.
I ask all of you, get out there. Meet new people. Become horribly uncomfortable in your own skin. It’s fun, it’s inspirational, and you’ll come up with far more characters than you can glean from a distance. With that, how do you find inspiration for your characters? Who have you met that became instrumental to your creativity?