Of all my characters, none has gone through as much of a change between first draft and published work as has Patience Smith from His Robot Girlfriend. Originally she was a rather Amazonian figure, physically very imposing, but much more submissive. Some might argue that Patience is still submissive, but I think she’s not so much. When I rewrote the short pieces into a long story, she needed to have much more force of personality so that she could advance the storyline of forcing Mike to change. A college professor once told me the main character is the one in the story who changes the most– and that would be Mike.
When I started rewriting, I just wasn’t happy with her physical description, so I started completely from scratch, using a young woman I knew as a model– so yes, there really is a Patience out there. I observed her as carefully as possible (without seeming too creepy) so that I could describe her movements and gestures– like when Patience bounces on her tip-toes or incorporates dance moves into everyday movement. Since then, I’ve tried to find a human being to at least think about when I write my characters. Yes, I still know the young woman I patterned Patience after, and no, I never told her she was an inspiration.