Meet Eric Swett With the subject INSPIRATION for his writing.
I draw inspiration for my writing from a number of places. Movies, television, music, and books are all fair game for getting my creativity going. When I wrote my first book, Apocalypse Rising, I modelled my characters after certan archetypes with only vague relations to anything more concrete. A lot of this is due to the fact that most of the novel was written one-hundred words at a time, so it was a little hard to put a finger to what inspired the characters. After some friends read the book we had a very lively discussion about who would make a good actor to play the main character, Justin. The results were consistently in the action hero action camp, but ranged in size and shape from person to person (Vin Diesel and Jensen Ackles were the top contenders and I ultimately fell in the Jesen Ackles camp).
When I sat down to write Apocalypse in the Balance I looked to movies and television for the visual and everywhere else for the personality. In the case of Albert Titan, the main villain of the book andthe series, I pulled a lot of his personality from Johnny Marcone of The Dresden Files. Marconeis a businessman/mobster that knows that violence and direct confrontation are not always the best way to approach a problem, but he is not afraid to go there if the need arises. I added a more sadistic streak along the lines of Malebolgia from the Spawn comic books. Malebolgia not only delights in the power he has over others, he wants them to suffer while he takes everything away from them. Then I threw in a good measure of Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, because when the confrontation finally comes down he is going to make sure the deck is stacked in his favor and the violence will be lethal.
Ance I picked John Slattery as a guide, but a younger version with a build more like Chriss Pratt’s. He had to have that serious look that said, “serious businessman,” but he needed to be physically imposing so that he could not possibly be thought a pushover. The physical blend of the two in mind was the perfect fit for the series villain. Of course that is just the image he wishes the rest of the world to see. What lies hiddden beneath the surface will be exposed in time and I’ve already started gathering inspiration for that.
Any one of the inspirations for the character would have made for an adequate representation of the books’ villain, but combining them made for a much evocative character. Using multiple sources of inspiration keeps your characters from being a stale rehash of someone else’s ideas. Take a look at your inspirations and find a way to blend them into a whole that is so much more satisfying than the individual pieces alone