So you are writing this new novel and thinking about characters. You get the feel of a person in your head, sketch out their looks to your mind’s eye and then pick up on their moods and tastes. Then you think of a name. Oops. You just described someone you know.
One of the hardest things is when you take bits and pieces of people and blend them together to create a character. At times I find myself switching into the moods and modes of my friend or colleague rather than the character in the book. Disassociating real life from the book can be fretful, especially when you have been engrossed in the book for hours at a time. Worse yet, you start calling your friends by the name of their characters. And then they answer back! This way madness lies.
So in order to prevent friend-character intertwining observe these simple rules.
1. Never take characteristics of people you have strong feelings for! You may talk to them like they can reciprocate these feelings! Bad if they are not your partner! Especially if your partner is there!
2. Never tell someone you have based a character on them, especially if the description is somewhat derogatory!
3. Always change their hair colour! No one will ever suspect it’s them with a different colour of hair, unless they are bald!
4. Never write in their accent! You will get it wrong and get punched!
5. Do these rules apply if your subject is deceased? Well that depends on how superstitious you are!
Let’s keep it sane people! Well saner! (if that’s a word)
Originally posted 29 October 2014 on Blogspot