Oh the Places Characters Go! (With Me) by Kate DeHart

Writers are a strange bunch. Everyone knows this. And if you are a writer yourself, you probably agree.

I mean, I’ve actually done internet searches on “exploding smoke bombs” and “how to disarm a gun from an assailant”. Along with “smoke traps for burglars that collect DNA”(so cool!) and “mind-altering medications that  increase sexual desire”(don’t ask). And that’s all for one story!

Maybe I’m stranger than most, but even non-writers probably have some interesting Google history. One hobby I have is likely one almost all non-writers don’t. Carrying around imaginary friends as a full grown adult.

Wait, you don’t do that too? It’s just me? Maybe. But my characters go everywhere with me. And I put them in all kinds of weird situations because of it.

I’m a Californian, and I don’t think there’s ever been a time I’ve taken a trip to the beach, where my characters have also not taken a trip with me. The only difference is, their trips are always sexier, more dangerous, and more interesting than mine.

They’ve also made it to Disneyland, Las Vegas, Disneyworld, Mexico, various other states, the movies, fairs, events, the park, camping, the mountains, the desert, and even work meetings! They aren’t really with me of course, they are in their own unique made up situations that pop into my head. Usually filled with conflict and intrigue.

Another place they frequent is in my favorite books and TV shows. Or they take a part of a situation from them and put their own flavor into it. Just one female character in my book has been kidnapped, faced amnesia, been on the run to save her family, been betrayed by multiple people, been trapped in the forest, had her husband disappear for months, found new love with an odd bedfellow, died, and a ton of other crazy happenings. And none of them will likely make it into a book.

I play with them, daily. Sometimes multiple times a day. A hobby I remember having since I was in my teens. It builds character personalities and helps me get to know them deeply, and how they’d react to different challenges.

Do you play with your characters? Where are some of the places you’ve taken yours? And what dramatic situations have they experienced, all in the name of exploration?


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