As a writer, I can find story or plot or character ideas just about anywhere. Books, television, movies, newspaper articles, dreams… these all twig my creativity. I also find myself inspecting the occasional stranger who has a look that might work for a character. Adam, in my new release, was primarily inspired by a guy I saw eating at an Indian restaurant… his appearance was, anyway. I already knew who Adam was as a person because he’d been making himself known to me for quite a while.
One time, though, it backfired, and months later, I’m still pissed at this guy for ruining my creative train of thought. I was driving and pulled up at a stop light. In my rear view mirror, I saw a guy on a motorcycle. Young (practically a miracle in Florida), good looking, dark hair that matched his black leather jacket, a bit of dark stubble, sunglasses. Within seconds, I was spinning a bad-boy, undercover agent persona. Oh, yeah, I was almost ready to pull over and start writing.
Then, the light turned green. I pulled onto the highway. The guy on the motorcycle passed me. As it turns out, the cycle was fitted with handle bars so high that he looked like a bug clinging to a window or a gibbon. Turns out, though, a gibbon was the correct answer. I found out later those handle bars were called “ape hangers”. However much the handlebars may be appreciated by the bikers who use them, it COMPLETELY destroyed the character I’d been building in my mind. Sad. I hope one day I can pretend I never saw the ape hangers, and go back to that “oh, he’d be perfect” mind set. Because I’m still mad and I’m mourning the loss of that nameless character.