Monday, August 23, 2010

The Creation of an MC

Where does the creation for an MC come from? Is it someone you know? Bits and pieces of several people you know? Is there some you in there? Your mother? Sister? Brother? Your alcoholic cousin? Your ex-best friend? Is it someone you knew when you were young or an ideal view of a person you wish you knew? How do writers manage to come with the personality/traits/qualities/looks of their MCs?

Yesterday I was riding in the car on the way to a wedding and my husband played a song I LOVE called As Fast As You Can by Fiona Apple

I absoltuely LOVE this artist. Her album, When the Pawn, is one of my all time favorites. I can listen to that cd from beginning to end. Every single song on it is amazing. But the thing I really love about her music and lyrics is the raw emotion and passion behind every song. It is a very YA album to me because many of her songs deal with relationships and all the intense and raw emotions that one deals with during those early times of one's life. I listen to her songs and I can hear/feel her sadness, anger, desperation, frustration, etc. She had a pretty tough life early on which is both fascinating and gruesome. You can read about her here:

As I was listening to this particular song in the car, it suddenly dawned on me that Fiona Apple's music was a huge influence in the creation of the MC in my current WIP. My MC, Sam is hard, tough, angry, sarcastic and doesn't easily trust...on the outside. On the inside, she is desperate, sad, vulnerable, hurt and trying to cope with who she is, what she is and things that have happened in her life.

I've known since I started writing that music can influence certain scenes I write in my works, but I never realized how music actually formed the basis of the main character in my novel. It was totally subconscious, but now that I've made the connection, I think it is pretty darn cool and I have Fiona Apple and her music genius to thank for that.


  1. Forgot to comment on this one. I love that you know where your character comes from. I have no idea where I dug up mine. Some are mish mashes of the person I am and the person I want to be and sometimes they're nothing like me at all and just something that popped into my head. Sometimes the things that pop into my head are scary... you dont' want to know.

  2. I actually think we cannot help using some form of outside influences in our MCs. I know I am in at least one character in each of my novels. Even if it's just a small piece of me, I'm still there. It's how I relate to them, feel for them and fight for them.

    I do the same thing with music. Characters aren't always formed from a song, but by the end of a novel, I know which songs best fit them.

    I think how we work as writers when it comes to our MCs is what really makes a solid character. It helps the readers relate and fall for them. To cheer them on during those harrowing moments and to cry for them when something goes wrong.

  3. @ Angie, most of my characters just "pop" in my head too, but I think it's impossible to have a character that doens't have some sort of traits/characteristics from something or someone you've experienced in life. Whether it's someone you know, or have only met briefly or read in a book, or seen in a movie, show, music video, what have you, there is an influence and brewing of a character waiting to come out of your head. :-)

    @ Nicole, I agree and I have worked REALLY hard on the development of all my characters, making sure they are all unique and as different as anyone, yet the same as anyone, all with their own voice. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. :-)


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