Ever wish those favorite characters you can’t forget were your neighbors, friends, or for us ladies, boyfriends?
Guess what? They could be.
I can say with an almost certainty those amazing characters who come to life on the page are, in some way or another, people writers have spent time studying.
Yes, it’s true. We observe people like science experiments, listening to the way our targets speak, walk, show emotion…you name it, we’re studying it. Now, don’t get all nervous, people. I’m not crazy or anything.
Okay, maybe a little crazy, but it’s the good kind. We all need some crazy, right?
In my case, I’m not saying every character is the splitting image of someone I know. Usually, characters are a mash-up of a few people. Lena, the MC in Tainted, is a blend of my daughters with some exaggeration and creative license thrown in. I’ve been studying them their whole lives, and so when creating my heroine—the way she speaks, her strengths and weaknesses—I couldn’t help but use attributes from three of the most interesting people in the world. At least, interesting in my world.
Of course, there are unsuspecting subjects who have no clue I’m being stalker-like. Matter of fact, the inspiration for the character I’ve just introduced in my second novel has been on my radar for about a year. He’s unique, and who doesn’t like unique? When I finally had the guts to tell him about his part in helping to create my story, he was…wait for it…happy. Yes, happy. Flattered, even. He asks about the book’s progress, and you know what that means? I have a fan.
So, to all those who know a writer, we can make you immortal.
But that isn’t always a good thing. You may not be that unique person who is the perfect kickass antihero. There’s also the person-who-pisses-me-off kind of character too. That’s right. Do something totally shitty and you could be the next asshole in a story. I’m not kidding, people. Be nice to your writer friend, or you’ll end up an ogre for eternity.