Inspirational Characters

Monday, December 09, 2019
I keep starting short stories because so many people inspire me! I didn't participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I still make it a habit to write a little something every day. My children think it's a little creepy, but I want to share a few ideas that may help inspire you when it comes to your writing. The key is that you write - long or short - just write it down!

This may inspire something longer for you even, or maybe you'll be moved to write something short and enter a flash fiction contest! Either way - Write On dear friend!

Here are just a few ideas where you might find inspiration for your next character:

Buying Groceries
Have you ever been at the grocery store and just soaked in the people around you? It's really warm outside and yet there's a woman wearing a coat and stocking cap. You don't have to approach her to be inspired - write your own story about why that coat and hat are important enough for her to wear them each time she leaves the house. What about the woman checking you out or the young boy bagging groceries? Is there something about them that catches your eye? Could they become your muse?

Pumping Gas
Have you ever seen a car with a lot of bumper stickers? One door a different color than the others? A car full of teenagers with mo-hawks or unusual hair? You don't have to stop and chat with them to find out what they are all about, but you can certainly write your own story about them.

Eating Dinner
Have you ever watched a group of people dining together and wondered what they have in common? Are they family? friends? business associates? What brought them together? Why are they here? What will they be talking about? Why did the one man get up so abruptly and leave quickly? Who will be paying the bill and why? Are they a group of classmates brought together by the untimely death of a friend? Maybe they are three men all in love with the same woman and they're trying to decide what to do since she is recently widowed from another member of their close knit group of friends. You can come up with a great story just based on the one small thing that drew your attention to them in the first place.

Chatting with Friends
Have you ever heard a story from a friend and your mind went down the proverbial rabbit hole? I have an acquaintance who was sharing an old family story of how this middle age couple was shot to death in their home by their daughter's boyfriend, all because they thought he was too old for her. The daughter wasn't involved at all, but when she told the boy they couldn't date, he acted irrationally. I had so many questions which of course couldn't be answered all those involved had long since passed as the story took place decades ago. I began envisioning the scenario leading up to the murders and then considering how the young girl would move on and the guilt she would face the rest of her life. This made for a great short story. I'm sure your friends have shared similar tales with you? Get those stories out of your head and down on paper!

Driving to Work
Have you ever noticed an abandoned house on your way to work? Someone holding a "will work for food" sign? A run-down house in an otherwise well kept neighborhood? Any of those things can become a character in your story. Maybe there was a lovely family living in that tiny house and due to illness they had to move and ...    you get to write the rest of the story! Let your imagination go wild!

These are just a few ideas that may help inspire your next character. Where have you found inspiration in the past? Do any of these ideas sound completely absurd to you? Leave a comment as we'd love to hear from you! (and if you think I'm completely absurd, you can leave that as a comment too - I've heard it from my children before...and yes, I've left the grocery store without buying items on my list because instead of checking off my groceries, I started jotting down story ideas...but who wants to be normal anyway?)


Crystal is a secretary, council secretary, financial secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, Auntie, babywearing mama, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children, two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, horses Darlin' and Joker, and over 250 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal milking cows, driving tractors, and riding unicorns (not at the same time), taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books here, and at her personal blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Snippets of conversation are great story starters for me. I also have a tendency to eye what someone else is check out from the library -- murder mystery and how to cook wild game? Really?

Great suggestions!

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