How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
- Henry David Thoreau
Will you write from experience, turning people you have met throughout your life into the characters of a mystery thriller or science fiction marvel? Or will you create a personality in its entirety, crafting each nuance with love, care and, maybe, just a little malice?
Perhaps you will mix the two, introducing people you have known to people you have yet to meet?
Will you spend a lifetime in your mind creating the protagonist, growing them from birth until they reach the age required for your tale, noting a highlight here and a low point there on scraps of paper, filling their personality with the detritus needed to make them human? Or perhaps they spring fully formed into your world, ready to fight or flee at your whim.
Will your creation remain alive in your world, growing in understanding as they experience new ideas? Or are they as stone, with fixed mind and demeanour?
Will they be like you? Would they be your friends if they could step out of the pages, or you into them? Do you share ideas and loves, hates and desires? Or perhaps someone that you would desire to meet, who will brighten your day and fill you with a sense of wonder and longing.
What of the antagonist, that person who would oppose your will? Upon which disfavoured relative will you base that undelightful character? Will that unfortunate needy recognise themselves or just feel discomfort, realising that something is amiss but not having the insight to understand? Will you greet that miscreant with a secret smile when next you meet, feeling smug in the knowledge that they have been undone?
Or is your enemy truly a fiction, too horrible for you to admit into your life as doing so would surely result in the demise of one or both of you? Or is the mind that you have brought forth so ugly, so much the antithesis of you, that you would in turn wish to be lovers, drawn to the darker undercurrents of a mind so repellent that you lust for it?