Whether it be family and friends, interviews, or fans, authors get asked a fair amount of questions. The infamous inquiry that has been identified by a number of writers as their least favorite is: where do you get your ideas?
Not that I have people beating down my door to seek my audience, but I don't mind that particular question. Personally, I don't think the actual method is usually interesting, but the details for a particular story can be.
The reason I don't think the method is all that fascinating, is it typically involves the same two components. Unhinging the mind, and metacognition. Don't worry, I'm not getting all new-age on you. Or stated in another way, you let your mind off the leash and follow it into the weeds.
It might be a full-blown plot that develops in the mind, or it could be a scene, a concept. One of the starting blocks for Rise of Raulet was a scene from a TV show where a young man is taking care of his publicly shunned sister. Both the sibling bond and the societal rejection were used to form Jasper and Margret.
Sometimes it's more directly derived from a reading experience. That's one of the freeing aspects of writing. Tired of seeing XYZ recycled again and again in a particular genre? Great! Write something in a different vein. Hence, why some people refer to the writing process as adding to the conversation. Granted it is a loud and disorganized conversation, but I will buy that for a dollar.
There is one question that makes me a little uneasy, though it is a fair question, and that is: is this character, you? The answer is always no with a small asterisk. Well sure, my thoughts went into building that character, and in that regard it's a part of me one could argue. With an unlimited world of imagination, why would I create a character that is me? Booooorrrring!
I want to feel unhindered in the creation process and I usually do. But, creating a violent character, or if I wrote a sexually deviant character, that would make me shift in my seat a little, as some people are going to assume those characteristics are mine too! Just because a character in my story likes to rub jelly doughnuts all over his body and then dance naked in the silvery moonlight, doesn't mean that I do that. What a waste of a good pastry.
I don't mind if people don't like me. Ok. That's a slight lie. It bothers me a little. What would make it worse, is if the person doesn't like or respect me based on a lie or a misconception. That idea drives me batty. That is why the question, if a character is me, is my dreaded question.
How about you? Do you have a dreaded question?