My Russian Characters
When I wrote my first book, I needed to give the main character a great background from the 1500’s. Specifically, she needed to have a humble childhood foundation to allow her to become a powerful woman. Many years ago, I came across an astounding Smithsonian website featuring 3 part color photographs from the 1800’s by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. When
These early photographs have been painstakingly restored to show breathtaking images of Rural Russia. I used these photographs as inspiration as I pictured my main character growing up in this simple time. In the sequel, my other main character goes searching for her all across Russia. Then in my third book, there are Russian spies. It is clear to my readers that I have a lot of Russian influence in my character development.
Did I intentionally concentrate on Russians? To me, I thought it was a random choice. However, when I took some time to think about this fact and it’s clear that I do like Russian characters. I like their inner strength, their culture, and their vast country. As for the people, I treat them as reserved, intelligent and very perceptive.
What about the Cold War and communist aspect? I generally tread lightly in this area. My characters regret their negative past and have moved on to new challenges. For modern Russian culture, I view it as transforming into something new and powerful. This epic transformation contains a lot of great material and in my third book, I use this transition as a backdrop for the entire story.
I think it’s important for a character to have pride in themselves. When I think of a typical Russian, I picture a strong person with a deep connection to their heritage. I think this gives them tremendous inner strength. Russia has had many accomplishments and their influence is vast. In looking back on my writings, I like all of my Russian characters because they come from a rich culture that’s instantly recognizable. It’s clear that my writing will contain future characters with Russian backgrounds. In writing this blog, it is also now clear to me why I have so many of them.
You’re the best -Bill
October 25, 2018
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