A Smorgasbord of Characters

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I spent last Saturday and Sunday at a tournament with an interesting array of characters. Throughout the days I dealt with seventy adults and thirty-odd children. The kids were pretty easy to deal with and provided me with entertainment just by being themselves.

The adults I put into different categories:


1. Those who came along ‘did’ their business and went to play their game.

2. The gregarious set, who are pleasant enough. This type tend to share a few jokes, rib other players, decide on the level of gambling and go on their way.

3. And then there is the set who set who always has something to complain about. Either we put them in the draw for too early or too late a tee time or they want to talk about stuff that happened in the past that they’re still unhappy about, like rulings that weren’t in their favour.

4. And then there are the agitators. Like the group above, they are always on about something. When they’re not doing that, they watch how we administer the event, waiting for the slightest rule infraction to pounce on the unsuspecting. The thing about most in this set is that they don’t complain up front while the offender is around.  They wait until the person is out of earshot to launch a complaint, and if they’re not satisfied with the response they receive, they don’t stop griping until they get the result they want.


I saw two incidents this weekend. One resulted in one player being disqualified and in the other argument over prizes, a sour atmosphere was created with talk of boycotting the next tournament. 


In my mind, there is absolutely nothing wrong with reporting a breach of the rules, however, I do have a problem when it is done in a sneaky way. And then there is the matter of people spreading the word and getting others to campaign so the main complainant gets the desired result.


The stuff that happened started me thinking about a character, who doesn’t have a name yet. This character is a mischief maker of the first order. I don’t know much about her yet, but trust me, I have lots of mischief lined up for her to dabble in. 


I know you’ll understand all about this. It’s second nature to a writer to find something on which to base a story even when it feels impossible to be creative after working two fourteen hour days.


D’you ever come up with nasty characters from being in a situation where you’re among people who aren’t your friends or coworkers?


I’ll bet you have.


Wanna share?


P.S. Thanks to Deborah Walker for the lovely blogger award. More about that next week.  The next Take Five With... interview goes live on Monday, March 14.
 

29 comments:

  1. Definitely. I came across this guy while washing my car that started honking at me to hurry up. It made me so mad.

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  2. Hope you were able to enjoy some of the weekend, despite those party poopers. There seems to be people like that in every gathering, and it's especially sad if they act like that in front of their kids.

    Oh yes, I have a nasty sort of person in mind for a character, one of my husbands relatives that lives on our last nerve. :) Truth may be stranger, and more irritating, than fiction in this case. :)

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  3. Micheal, your comment made me smile. It's beyond me why anyone in a hurry would be at a carwash


    Tina, I was happy when the event ended. Some are good people to be around and then there are those who - to steal your words - live on your last nerve.

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  4. My creative brain never quite turns off, so yes, that happens to me quite frequently. That character you're thinking up sound fun and devilish.
    ;)

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  5. I know a few... I tend to put them in my stories to get revenge ;)

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  6. You do it too?!

    When I see someone I don't know well, behaving like a jerk, I want to know their backstory. So I make one up. Then when I have a motivation, I can create a character based on the attitude or scene.

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  7. Lydia, I shall be taking more notes anon.

    Freaya, if the real life character ever gets a hold of your writing, chances are he/she won't even recognize him/herself.

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  8. Hi Joy
    it is sad isn't it when you have such people out there ready to make a great day, bad.
    I always think about possible story ideas. For example i'm working (in my mind!) on a 'Farmer wants a wife' type story because we've been watching the show based on The Bachelor... well, always a writer ;)
    Your character sounds intriguing, make sure s/he gets what they deserve in the end!

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  9. I always see someone passing me and start making up their story..ie, why he looked sad, why she looked crushed..

    Glad to know I'm not alone!

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  10. Yes. I do draw some characters from real people with a mix of imagination. Great post

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  11. Definitely this has happened to me before. I love when an idea hits from such a strange origin. Those are sometimes the greatest ones. I know that those can be the most creative because you can play off of so many areas of shadows and dark corners of the unknown with her. This sounds so fun. Best wishes.

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  12. People who don't write would probably think some our story origins are downright strange, but I do like the idea of looking at a stranger and trying to figure out why they're giving off a particular vibe. Thanks for visiting!

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  13. For sure. Real people are my inspiration, but I always mix them up so no one would know.

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  14. I love golf! Only went out once last summer. This year I'm hoping to go more often, but this writing gig takes much of my time.

    Writers find strange characters almost everywhere we go. But thank heavens we do or our books would be pretty flat and boring. Though in real life some people can really try your patience. You have the right idea. Disguise them and put them in a book.

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  15. Lynda, combi characters make very interesting writing.

    Kathi, difficult people do make fascinating fictional characters.

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  16. Popping over to follow long and thank you for joining my crazy blog. Here's to the future :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  17. You're right - we're funny that way, aren't we, our minds taking bits and bits from real people all the time.
    Oddly enough, though, I'm not sure I've ever actively gone looking for traits for my antagonists. That's not a bad idea, next time I'm stuck on a scene with him!

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  18. Jules, thanks!

    Deniz, every bit of real life helps in fiction. :D

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  19. Usually it's the little things that spark a character or story for me.

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  20. I think what makes our characters come alive--is that they're based on actual people. When I see an interesting person on the street, my mind automatically makes up a story about them. It's amazing how the mind of a writer works!

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  21. Yes, all the time! There are strange characters everywhere in my neighbourhood - and I love it!

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  22. Characters do show up everywhere, even when we aren't looking.

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  23. Thank, J.L, you post has got me thinking.

    And you know what? I don't think I do take inspiration from real life. Gosh, how strange. My characters seem to lollop onto the page from nowhere.

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  24. Yes, that does sound strange, but to each his own. :D

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  25. Most definitely. I came up with an evil character based on someone I met who made me soon realize she was a total backstabber. My evil character was born and has grown. Bwahahahahaha

    Nice post fellow last namer. :)

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  26. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts, Robyn.

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  27. Hello fellow crusader who I am so woefully late on getting around to follow. :D

    I will never admit up front that any of my bad characters were inspired by people I've come across who have rubbed me the wrong way, because it wouldn't be right. (Okay, truthfully, I just don't want them to ever KNOW that I've done it. Sneaky revenge feels better)

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  28. I stopped to help a kid who was unconscious on New Year's Eve, and some very unsavoury sorts showed up claiming variously that he knew them/owed them money, etc--thankfully I'd already called security and first aid by then. When a chase scene ensued, I was definitely taking notes! (All ended well, incidentally.)

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  29. Tracy, I can certainly relate to that. Thanks for coming by.

    Amie, I bet you couldn't believe that was the stuff of life and not fiction! Glad everything ended okay.

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