The Pros And Cons Of Basing A Character On Someone You Know

+ You’ve got all the research material you need at your finger tips.
– Your loved ones might find it strange that you are taking notes about everything they do and say.


+ You can really imagine whether your real-life-person would say what your character says. It’s a great way for quality checking dialogue!
– You may get unecessarily attached to your character. You’ve got to lose those darlings!

+ By definition, the characters will be realistic.
– It may push you to use less creativity in inventing your characters.

+ Everything comes from personal experience, so you know what was truly funny/painful/memorable etc.
– You may use character traits and references that only you understand, without realising.

+ You’ve already got the background of the character subconsciously mapped out.
– It may lead you to believe that you don’t need to plan a character arc. (FYI, you do!)

+ You’ve got ready-made stories and situations!
– You may be tempted to include real-life situations that have nothing to do with the progression of the story.

+ It’s great to have a secret about who your characters are based on.
– … But people might find out.

+ If you’re writing about a loved one, their memory will be forever conserved in literary!
– You’re loved one might not want to be portrayed the way you have written them.

+ If you’re writing about an enemy, there’s no greater satisfaction than archiving their hatefulness in literary hell!
– However, writing about someone you hate won’t resolve anything in real life. Don’t think it will!

+ You can find out a lot about yourself and your feelings by writing about people you know.
– Your project could accidentally turn into therapy!

+ If your loved one knows about their involvement in your story, you’ve got an added bit of pressure to finish it!
– You may start using your friendship as a project.

+ You don’t have to keep reminding yourself what the character is like.
– It’s easy to forget to introduce the character’s personality, as you assume everyone knows them as well as you do.

Overall, think carefully about who you base characters on. It is a big decision!! First and foremost, are they interesting enough for a strange to read about for an entire novel? Secondly, can the person sue you…? 


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