Creating Crandall

Carrie asked me where Crandall came from. She’s known him longer than the rest of you – he had a side story with one of her babies for about 10k words. We played often like that, putting our children in a sandbox to see what they’d do with each other, or if they’d do each other. It’s a great writing exercise, to put your characters in with others, especially others that they’d normally never met. I love her for every scene, every experience – Crandall, Max, plus so many others that you, dear Readers, have never met.

Crandall came from another writing exercise. Or, more specifically, from a blog entry I wrote about writing exercises. He was just a random example, and then he was exactly what the blog was illustrating – a new character.

I happened to be blogging about how real people sneak into, or inspire, my characters. We had just entertained that weekend and I had the pleasure of company from a friend I rarely see. I decided, for the sake of example, to use him to create a character. It wasn’t meant to be a real character, because it was just for the blog — so I could better illustrate the writing exercise.

It started with Chris, singer of a band, rambling on at full speed about anything and everything people wanted to talk about that night. Yes, both C names; it was a blog entry and I was being lazy. I’ve seen Chris sing and he doesn’t prattle on like that on stage. I started wondering what would happen if he did. You haven’t seen Crandall on stage yet, but you will soon. He does that. He rambles on and on.

I don’t remember exactly when Crandall went from blog example to flesh and blood character. It might have even been when Carrie wanted to know more about him. He doesn’t carry any more of Chris in him, but it was that gathering of friends, the first and only time Chris has attended one of my parties, that drew him forth from the mysterious void that we call creativity.

Who can you borrow from when writing? Who have you nibbled at without even realizing it? Am I in one of your stories?



One response to “Creating Crandall

  • Carrie Cleaver

    Music inspires more than a few of my characters. I believe “M” came about back in the mid-nineties when Bono still wore shiny leather and stalked around victims, err fans. He evolved from there, and just never really left me, picking up bits and pieces of other things he liked as soon as he was able to operate under his own steam.

    Xan, or Xanox, evolved from Peter Steele, of Type O Negative fame. He carries the same hair color and height, and plays a bass guitar. Once he was rolling, he too, changed around a bit, told me his ‘real’ name and other delicious little tidbits that have made him so terribly popular.

    The rest were usually generated on the fly, as the result of a body needed to fill a position in a story. Jack, or Jackal, my brain-damaged vampire was a minor role at first, a jackass needed to be the jerk that hurt another character’s feelings.

    I look forward to seeing what other people remark. It’s nice to know I’m not entirely crazy, and if I am, I’ve got company.


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