Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Marilyn Meredith's Blog Tour: Where Do My Characters Come From?

Where Do My Characters Come From?

The question had a second part—who do I pattern them after? I’ll answer both.

When I wrote the first book in the series, Final Respects, the police officers had similarities to ones I knew or had heard about. The major plot came from something that really happened—but very much fictionalized.
Every character that I’ve created has bits and pieces of people I’ve known or observed. It might just be how they look, or some habit they have.

In the second book in the series, Bad Tidings, the main character’s looks are similar to a man who was the truant officer at the high school and a family friend many years ago.

The series has developed a cast of characters who appear in varying degrees of importance in each book.
Detective Doug Milligan has his roots in several police officers that I’ve known—both his looks and personality.Stacey Milligan, his wife, has a unique way of dealing with people. She has the attributes of a good wife and mother.Officer Gordon Butler kind of resembles a police officer I knew well, but his personality is totally different. He has probably matured the most of anyone in this series.

I’ve grown to know all of the ongoing characters enough to know how they will act in most given situations. What I don’t know, I’ll research, such as how a police officer might react to having killed a suspect. (I’ve addressed this in more than one book, including the latest.)

In Murder in the Worst Degree three men who hangout in McDonald’s came from a group of older men who meet in our local McD’s, though they have no physical resemblance to them.

Many other characters are creatures of my imagination.

An added tidbit—I’ve lived a long time and met many intriguing people along the way—and of course some of them might have made it into one of my stories. I doubt anyone would recognize him or herself.

F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith

Blurb for Violent Departures:
College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.

F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Besides having family members in law enforcement, she lived in a town much like Rocky Bluff with many police families as neighbors.


Because it has been popular on my other blog tours, once again I’m offering the chance for the person who comments on the most blog posts during this tour to have a character named for him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.

Or if that doesn’t appeal, the person may choose one of the earlier books in the series—either a print book or Kindle copy.

Next question answered, “What About Dialogue?” 

Here is a list of Marilyn's blog tour schedule:

            Coming Up With New Ideas for an Ongoing Series

Where Do My Characters Come From?

            What About the Dialogue?


            How I Keep Up With my Characters and What’s Happened

            After So Many Books, How Do You Get Fresh Ideas?

            When to Think About Promotion

The Good and Bad of Writing a Series

            Ghosts and Why I Write About Them

            Reading Reviews of my Books

            Stacey Milligan’s Dilemma


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I want to thank you so much for hosting me today on my tour. The questions you asked were a challenge and fun to answer.

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

It's comforting to hear that you do pretty much the same thing I do when creating characters. It's always good to learn from someone with more experience than you have on your own. Great blog, once again, Marilyn. And I love this website, as well.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks, Jackie, for your kind remarks. Always happy when you stop by. Yes, this is a good website and I'm happy to be visiting here.

Patricia Guthrie said...

Thanks Jackie for your kind words about my website. I think Marilyn's blog about characterization is wonderful.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Fascinating plot concept, Marilyn. I can't wait to read the book.

Marja said...

Sometimes I create a character and later realize I based it on someone I know or have seen. I'm looking forward to your book, Marilyn.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks Jean, I never know what the plot will actually do when I get started. So glad you stopped by.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

And Marja, I usually know where my ideas for characters come from, often they're a combination of several someones and my imagination.

linda thorne said...

You always come up with an interesting topic for each of your blog tour stops. I do the same thing when creating characters. Pieces and parts from different people and personalities, blended together. It's fun.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Linda, it's so strange to read your name here, because you are a character now in the book I'm writing. Certainly nothing like you except your name.

Author, Sunny Marie Baker said...

Marilyn, you know I love all your characters, but it was interesting to know that you sometimes base them on people you know. I have done that too, or when out and about happened to see someone who fits my idea of a character and I go, "There's my Luke (or whatever character it might be.) I think the fact that you do use real people as models for your characters is what makes them seem so real. Love you, Sunny B

Patricia Guthrie said...

I think my characters come from bits and pieces of people I've known or know or have seen. I know the physical characteristics come from celebrity prototypes. In Arms of the enemy my heroine was Nichole Kidman, although nobody would ever see her in Maggie. In Waterlilies Gwenyth Paltrow was my visual. Again, you'd never know. But the "casting call" was lots of fun.