I have a story to tell. Actually, I have many stories in my head just aching to get out. I have the idea, think of how and who, and where. The story is just the beginning of the journey. Characters are the meat of it, but one has to have a split personality as an author. I have to be a ten-year-old girl who is into anime or an old battle-hardened war veteran. Sometimes in the same paragraph. Where does this shit come from? The setting can also be a character; how does one pretend to be scenery?
Every character has a piece of me in them. Part of my split personality. I draw from past experiences and interactions I have had or just witnessed. When writing an evil character, where in me is that? Am I that kind of person just under the surface? (I hope not, but it has to come from somewhere.) One of the hard parts of writing in my experience is to make all the characters uniquely different and consistent in their personalities. I think I do a pretty good job of it, but it is a challenge. After all they are all me. And I may be uniquely different (a politically correct term for weird?) but maintaining that is my biggest challenge.
I think of actors and how they have to be different people all the time. I think that there is a kind of freedom in that we can not be ourselves for a time. Halloween for example. Think back to the last time you were in full costume. The protection of identity that you get are you acting the same “normal,” or are you letting go and getting into the character, saying and doing things that you would not normally do? That’s the freedom I feel when writing. I get to express all those slices of my personality in the characters I write.