Close the Door, Honey, I’m Googling Myself
Admit it. Curiosity has gotten the best of you at one time or another and, when you think no one is around to catch you, you have given in to the temptation. You have logged on, pulled up a search engine, typed your name in, and pressed enter. Maybe you just wanted to see what kind of trail you have left behind while surfing the web, or, perhaps, you were just interested in seeing how many people shared your name. Whatever the reason for your search, it’s okay; it is nothing to be ashamed of. You no longer have to feel the need to close the door and google yourself.
I have found this to be a great way to get character ideas. One of the people I share a name with is considerably older and lives in a more affluent section of a large Californian city. Another is a few years younger and a member of the opposite sex. If I take bits and pieces of my personality, mix in her appearance, and his location, I could probably come up with a viable character that could get into all kinds of trouble among the jet set crowd…not that I would do such a thing.
If you want more character ideas, google your family, or your friends, or even people you aren’t really fond of. The key thing to remember if you do this is to make absolutely certain that you do not use the person’s real name. In fact, it would be wise to avoid making your character too much like any one specific person. Regardless of your honorable intentions, someone might take offense to the way you have them portrayed. You don’t have to hide the fact that you google yourself and your friends, but I wouldn’t advertise it either.
Just thought I would jot this down.