Writing Wednesday: Characters

I asked last week if anyone had any writing-related questions cos my mind was a blank. Stella asked:

Have you ever met anyone, you may have loved them instantly or they just brushed you up in totally the wrong way, and thought, “I’m going to make you a character in a book one day!”?

Good question! I don’t think I’ve ever actually thought “I’ll put you in a book…” – I picture myself saying that while squinting malevolently and shaking my fist – but I definitely do hear stories about people and think “that would work in a novel”. Usually if my characters are inspired by real people, then it’s celebrities rather than people I’ve met.

Although the mum in Della was vaguely based on the mum of some friends when I was at school. She was a former model, impossibly glamorous and did indeed turn up to collect them from school in stilettos and leather trousers. The rest of Della’s mum’s personality was made up though, since I didn’t know my friends’ mum well enough to pinch her personality too.

I don’t think I’d ever put someone I didn’t like in a book as revenge. I’ve been thinking about it and how I can see how it could be cathartic, but it just seems too negative to me. I think I’d find it stressful. I’d be more likely to take a couple of nasty characteristics and give them to an invented character.

Hope that answers your question, Stella. Anyone else got any questions?

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5 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Characters

  1. Yes! Me! How do you manage to write so quickly?!! I am green with envy watching your word count go from 0-15000 in the blink of an eye, while mine crawls along like a sloth that hasn’t been sleeping properly. I demand your secret! And, you know, well done :o)

    1. Oh that’s easy – I write a load of shite. Seriously. I figure I can fix it later. Probably less than 20k of the 50k I wrote for NaNo actually made it into Jessie.

      I also don’t edit as I go (okay, maybe a teensy bit). So, for example, with the new book I’ve written 15k of the couple splitting up relatively amicably. I decided this morning that the split probably shouldn’t be so amicable, but I won’t go back and change it yet, I’ll either rewrite some earlier scenes with more antagonism (but without deleting the stuff I’ve already written) or I’ll just carry on as if I’d written the antagonism in the first place. Does that make sense?

      With the Jessie Nano, I probably wrote around 15k each of three slightly different stories to make up the 50k!

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