Are You In My Book?

So a little vexed I’m completely without internet at the moment, especially as it’s now only a matter of weeks until the release of The Break.

But I’m here now and I have a question. What are the rules on developing a character based on someone you know? Is it insulting? Flattering? Is it a big No, No? I only ask because admittedly I managed to write The Break with completely original characters and I can honestly say not one person resembles anyone I know, not consciously anyway!!!! But as I start to contemplate my next project, I’ve started to realise that without knowing it, one of the new characters have developed a personality similar to about three different people I know, seriously if they were one person they would be my new character!! Is this wrong?

When you take a writing course (which I did for a day about ten years ago, hated it, waste of time, a day of my life I’ll never get back!!) or something you’re told to write what you know, to draw on your own experiences for inspiration. Firstly unless your life is REALLY exciting, where is the fun in that? And secondly does that go for people? I guess it would depend on the context of the characters within the narrative or if it’s quite obvious who this person is meant to be and you’ve made them the bad guy!! The thing is now I’ve started writing this person, I can’t help myself but compare, I’ll get to a point where the character would need to make a decision and I’ve started to think “What would ????? do?” it is making for far more interesting decision making I must admit and I am finding it kind of fun but I don’t want to go down this route if it’s going to get me in trouble. Maybe I’ll have a word with ????? and just say look I’m basing this character on you, but I don’t think you’re going to like it!!!!! Or maybe I’ll just do it and deny all knowledge when ???? says to me one day “Am I in your book?” Also is it really wrong that the idea makes me grin slyly to myself!!!

Well I’m sure I’ll figure it out but if you guys have had similar incidents with the same dilemma I’d love to hear about them!!

2 thoughts on “Are You In My Book?

  1. My main character is loosely based on me (appearance, car, artist, etc) and the psychologist is loosely based on my now deceased best friend (appearance, educational background, taste in decor, etc). I also have a victim who is loosely based on a guy I dated for like five minutes (appearance, accent, body type, etc). All this was intentional, so I guess I went with the “write what you know” school of thought.

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