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All Things Writing & Publishing > Isn't writing a book a cool and 'innocent' way to even some scores?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments When choosing fictional heroes to populate your story, you don't necessarily need to invent all of them from scratch. Can't you use the ever drunk neighbor from your childhood to be a chief villain or maybe a bully from the 6-th grade for a corner pimp? Of course, if fictional characters are associated with real persons, it can be a libel, but it's usually the game that only the author understands its meaning.
But why being negative? Can't you portray, for example, your granny who you feel you didn't have a fair chance to say proper goodbye to before she passed away and 'invite' her to be a cool heroine in your novel?
I, for example, couldn't help the temptation to enact some literary agents in one of my books, after their existence came to my realization.
What about you? Do you have those dark secrets? -:)


message 2: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 52 comments I name the cannon fodder in my stories after real-life people I despise. And then they die. Horribly. Lol.

It's a fun way to channel some bitter feelings.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments Whacking them, huh? Give them a chance to improve -:)


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael McLellan Guilty.
I visited a rather macho and uncaring doctor once. His literary doppelganger turned out to be a nervous and twitchy man who peed his pants in fear during a scene in my first novel.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments -:) Sounds like a little revenge


message 6: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 52 comments Revenge is a fun thing to write. :)

Besides, I give them chances to improve! Their personalities improve when they don't say anything. :D


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11506 comments I might use someone I don't like very much for inspiration, e.g., the things that person does shouldn't be done, but the villains then develop into genuine fiction. I think if you start writing petty spite, it shows in your writing. We must not write petty stuff :-)


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments Ian wrote: "I think if you start writing petty spite, it shows in your writing.."

Agree. It's just a game of imagination/fun


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments Anyone else wants to confess and share some dark secrets? -:)


message 10: by Michael (last edited Dec 04, 2016 10:51AM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Sorry I do the opposite. I put people I like and are friends with into my novels. They usually love it and it results in sales. I have a buddy thats going to buy 5-10 copies when it comes out in paperback to give to his family and friends as presents. Score for him, win for me.


message 11: by Joanna (new)

Joanna Elm | 145 comments Michael, I wonder if your character Billy English is that buddy? A professor turned porn director/producer? Sure, you just couldn't make up a character like that ( haha) Am I close? Oh and by the way, if I'm right, I want to meet him some day!!!


message 12: by Michael (last edited Dec 04, 2016 06:40PM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Billy is a very good friend. Gunner is a very good friend. Jimmy Watson is a very good friend. Even Sophia is based on a friend's actual life.

In my next novel, I am writing in several of my beta-readers as well as one of their daughters who was born with Down Syndrome.

If you want to meet Billy you'd probably have to come to AVN. lol He's usually shooting and when he's not shooting he's traveling in Europe.


message 13: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 1022 comments I don't write for revenge, but I do write situations that I wished could have worked out for me instead of the way they did in real life.


message 14: by Kari (new)

Kari Nichols (thekarinichols) | 2 comments yes! I usually write in friends as minor characters so I already know their background. And I try to use situations that have happened in my own life for my books....or have my characters say things that I wish I could have said in a similar moment.


message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Kari wrote: "yes! I usually write in friends as minor characters so I already know their background. And I try to use situations that have happened in my own life for my books....or have my characters say thing..."

how about your enemies? ;)


message 16: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan A pair of minor characters carry my step-daughter and son in law's names (at their request - they wanted in).

I'm all for honoring some friends with little inclusions, provided they ask for it - I would never do it without confirming it first.

As for loathsome characters, I do have one based on a reasonably prominent and now retired politician, and I think that historical figures are fair game.


message 17: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan (psst... all my villains are based on me....)


message 18: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 52 comments I like to think I can be easy to get along with. It takes a lot to actually get me angry, yet, it takes so little to agitate me. I've been told that the majority of my moods can be summed up by "different levels of foul." A lot of things that would normally make people go berserk just annoy me, or I'm indifferent to it. It depends. But nothing pisses me off more than when something doesn't work out the way it should (say if a machine inexplicably stops working properly, or if procedure decides to take exception in some stupid way), and when vile, narcissistic people get away with their wrongdoings so easily--without so much as a ruined reputation. I'm a fairly harmless individual, but I'm not going to lie; I'll admit when the latter types swing their ugly heads in my direction I want to do horrible things to them in return.

Still, despite my apparent, unpracticed tendencies... I have a wide circle of friends.

Yeah. Somehow, I have friends.

I also have a lot of enemies.

I base characters off both types. Guess which ones die a lot more often? :)

I see writing novels as a great way to let off some steam. It's a fantastic coping mechanism; my favourite one aside from my constant injections of sarcasm and dark humour in dire situations. Often when people screw me over and put me into situations I can't control (has happened more often than I care to admit), I feel extreme hatred for them. They always get away with it, and I'm left with nothing but pain, anger, and some serious wishes for something awful to happen to those certain people.

But since I can't do anything TO them, I simply include their caricatures in my writing and do whatever I want with them. I've been told that's unhealthy, but, well, what the hell else am I supposed to do with them? Everything else is illegal! LOL.

As for my friends, I incorporate dialogue and elements of their personalities into some of my favourite characters. And of course, I base all of my "romantic interests" off of real-life women I was once or still am close to. Obviously these ones live longer. :)


message 19: by Mike (new)

Mike | 181 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "(psst... all my villains are based on me....)"

Haha! Damn good idea, I will have to try this.


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments One calls it fiction, another - memoir -:)


message 21: by Mike (new)

Mike | 181 comments Personally, including friends as characters seems to increase the level of stress. I become worried about depicting them 'correctly', not having them say or act in ways they wouldn't, or potentially hurting their feelings if it turns out they ever read what I've written. I am also more reluctant to have bad things happen to these characters, like having them die for example, and that's limiting.

I think pettiness, as Ian says, can be a danger, especially if it's someone you've had a real problem with. I think most people- or I, at least- have the tendency, which is very hard to guard against, of presenting themselves in an ultimately sympathetic light. So the danger as I see it is a vaguely autobiographical character becomes the sympathetic one, and the person who slept with your wife or husband is the evil one. I think readers can usually sense that subtle self-justification.

So I seem to usually end up using people I don't know very well. They tend to be people I didn't like all that much- an annoying roommate, a darkly fascinating co-worker- but usually there is some distinctive aspect of their character or personality that I find interesting, and want to explore. Since they're not close friends, I don't feel any obligation to be accurate- and most of them would never read my writing anyway.


message 22: by kavi + alex + noir ~ve|vim~ (last edited Dec 05, 2016 03:33PM) (new)

kavi + alex + noir ~ve|vim~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments lol before I started writing my first book, and when I was looking for ideas for it, I once thought of using this one girl, who was in my U.S history class, to be one of those mean popular kids, because I thought she hated me for some reason, even tho she doesn't really know me that well, she kept giving me this dirty look like she hated me or she was trying to judge me or something like that.


message 23: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "(psst... all my villains are based on me....)"

Seriously?


message 24: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Nik wrote: "One calls it fiction, another - memoir -:)"

Wow serious contradiction.


kavi + alex + noir ~ve|vim~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "(psst... all my villains are based on me....)"

lol one of my characters in my second book, was sorta based on me XP because I'd always wondered what it'd be like to live in my fav books' world and I daydreamed about it all the time and I had a lot of what if questions on if we could get zapped into our fav worlds, and stuff because for me, I hate reality, and reading and writing are like my escape into another world from reality, and my main character sorta relates to me


message 26: by Alex (last edited Dec 05, 2016 09:34PM) (new)

Alex (asato) Kavy Jackson Fullbuster~You fell so hard~ wrote: "lol before I started writing my first book, and when I was looking for ideas for it, I once thought of using this one girl, who was in my U.S history class, to be one of those mean popular kids, be..."

(hey, i just got a PM from a girl who says that she knows you from US History. do you know her?

she said that you'd recognize her by her eye patch and katana that she always carries. she also said to tell you that she's sorry that she squints at you all the time, but even her good eye isn't, after all, that good and she hates wearing the ugly glasses that her dad picked out for her.)

there are four of us at my place of employment who have lunch together on a regular basis. two of them are fanboys of the walking dead, so i wrote a zombie short story, Homo Sapiens Regener, in which they were three of the four main characters. in the first draft i used their real names and asked them to read it. they liked it--in spite of their employment as elements in the art of degustation.


message 27: by Bob (new)

Bob Rich | 72 comments In my book Ascending Spiral, I have included all the people who had traumatised me during my childhood and youth, some even by name.
Haven't been sued yet.
:)


kavi + alex + noir ~ve|vim~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments Alex G wrote: "Kavy Jackson Fullbuster~You fell so hard~ wrote: "lol before I started writing my first book, and when I was looking for ideas for it, I once thought of using this one girl, who was in my U.S histo..."

O_O I'm not sure what's her username?


message 29: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments If you have a confession, here is the place -:)


message 30: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 1 comments Bits of people I know appear in characters. Some scenes or background incidents but not whole characters although there are quite a few I'd like to kill off


message 31: by Nik (last edited Aug 11, 2022 10:22AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 15757 comments Surely, you imagine some real awesome/awful dudes when inventing characters, do you?


message 32: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 274 comments I read somewhere that J K Rowling based one of the villains in the Harry Potter series after one of her old science teachers.


message 33: by J. (last edited Aug 16, 2022 10:37AM) (new)

J. Gowin | 4354 comments Barbara wrote: "I read somewhere that J K Rowling based one of the villains in the Harry Potter series after one of her old science teachers."

"I was the inspiration for Voldemort!?"

"No, the inspiration for Voldemort was that weird lump on the back of your head. You were the inspiration for a mind controlled stammerer who gets burn to death by a bad touch from an eleven year old."


message 34: by Jim (last edited Aug 16, 2022 03:35PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 168 comments The dedication page of the paperback format of my one and only novel reads:

"This book is dedicated to my children -
Pam, Ginger, Elaine, and Jim, Jr. - whose
personality traits have been imbedded in some
of the characters that inhabit the world of
Levels. I hope they have fun trying to guess
who resembles whom. I'll never tell!"

It has now been 11 years since the book was published. My adult children still occasionally mention a specific character whom they believe was based upon them and are frustrated because I still refuse to tell.


message 35: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments I hope you leave the answers in your will :-)

Thinking of this topic, I wish I were a writer. It's a good way to have the last word, isn't it?


message 36: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Deans (adriandeans) | 285 comments Scout wrote: "I hope you leave the answers in your will :-)

Thinking of this topic, I wish I were a writer. It's a good way to have the last word, isn't it?"


Maybe, or maybe the last word will be had by the judge...

I namedrop friends all the time for minor characters. One of my friends frequently signs off emails as "the star of page 363".


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