Inspiration of an unusual kind

I was at a work meeting and a coworker stood up and said one of the nastiest comments I have ever heard. It wasn’t nasty because it was rude or because it was filled with swear words. No. This one was nasty because it hit below the belt and it left no prisoners.

While everyone around me huffed and puffed in anger, I wrote it down. Later, I changed it until it was even nastier and suited to the situation then gave it to the villain in my story.

Oh, it was so good! My villain went from wanna-be nasty to awful in three short words. Gold! It was gold.

I find character-helpers like that pop up in life everywhere. Real people are full of quirky bits and interesting facts. Some are odd and greet me with “Hi, Superchick! How is it going on the planet?” Others are still so full of rage, they can harness anger with only a few words.

I find kindness is easy to write but true nastiness, someone you love to hate…well that takes talent. I don’t like a simple villain. I like ones that are complicated and have redeemable qualities. Sometimes the inspiration is all around me.

Still, I got a few puzzled looks at the staff meeting. I guess, they didn’t get why I was smiling after the vile comment.

What about you? Do others in life inspire you? Do you find villains easy to write?



5 thoughts on “Inspiration of an unusual kind

  1. Absolutely everyone I ever met gave me something to write about, hinted at traits yet undiscovered, had amazing stories to tell about events in their lives. If you don’t talk to people, learn to interview them, your characters will lack depth because you can only build a coherent 360 character by fully understanding them from points of view outside of yourself as the writer. Just a thought πŸ™‚ Great article.

  2. My ex husband was great for these odd phrases that were totally original. I used several of them in a novel, and sometimes I think I still remain friends with him just to mine his language πŸ™‚

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