I decided to show once again that you can find inspiration for characters (or stories) almost anywhere. I constantly run through things I’ve read and watched for ideas… How can I put a unique twist on something and change it enough to make it original?
Often times, it just ends up being the general idea. My most well received City of Heroes story was based on a cartoon where one character went undercover in the villain organization but only one other person knew and they got put into a coma by an attack from the villains.
One of my most quirky characters was actually a near complete borrowing of a cartoon character. She was a video game character in Champions Online. Meet C.S.I. Gadget:
For those who didn’t guess… She’s a tribute character based on Inspector Gadget’s niece Penny. I made her origin vague enough so that neither I nor the game got in trouble for copyright violation. The origin being that she was the neice of the city’s now retired most famous cyborg detective. A natural genius, she covertly helped her uncle, and when she graduated school a few years early, she went on to college and got dual degrees in engineering and criminology, then became a CSI for the Department. She carries several devices and a portable crime lab, and has a small army of robotic pets that help her fight crime. And yes, as the picture indicates, she rides around on a small circular flying platform.
I got several compliments on her look, with people saying the look was perfect for an adult Penny. Here’s her street clothes “costume”. The shirt is supposed to be a Millennium City PD T-Shirt. Being an older game, Champions Online didn’t allow for a super high level of detail.
So, I hope that help you writers see that an open eye and a little imagination can find creative inspiration anywhere.
She had a virtual army of pets in the game and it was a joke among my friends that turning her loose, the bad guy would scream in terror as a sea of pets washed over them, LOL. That was before the game nerfed the pet summoning powers though. *grumble*