Guess who’s back? And guess who’s late making another entry for the  Teens Can Write Too! blog chain?

If you answered Fiachra for those then you’re on a roll, but despite me being 3 days late (sorry about that), I’m gonna write this post, so help me God.

The topic for this month?

“How have both the people in your life and your own personal experiences impacted your writing? Do you ever base characters off of people you know?”

One thing that pretty much doesn’t need to be said is that you cannot get away with basing evil characters off of friends and family. If you say to someone ‘Oh, X is based off of you’, they probably won’t want to hear ‘Because is a prick, much like, yourself.’

Trust me, it doesn’t work.

I have based characters off of friends and family though, usually using quirks they have, or just using routines I notice that they have. No one feels upset, I get a more human character, every ones happy. If you want to be sweet, you can base a character off the better traits of  someone you know. How they smile, the way they walk (or strut), how they laugh, all the little things and the better larger ones not only provide a good frame for a realistic character, but also won’t get you slapped in the face. Now, if you’re really desperate for a girlfriend, or you just want to be a bit of a suck up, you can claim that the entire character is based off a person. Personally, I’ve never done this, because it either leads to awkward conversations as to why I did it, or it simply doesn’t work. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to make a complete copy of a real life person 3-dimensional.

A good way to get bad traits, rather than go after your friends, is to base them off of people you hate,  which I have done. Now, I don’t recommend doing this to a person you see regularly. They’ll find out eventually, and you don’t want a black eye just for a character, now do you? Try using old teachers you gritted your teeth upon seeing, bullies you hated, a politician you despise (if you’re feeling anarchical, just insert the name of the current world leaders at every opportunity 😉 ), etc. etc.

So how have the people in my life impacted my writing? Well, the most important aspect would be the fact that they got me writing in the first place. If I didn’t have the friends I had,  I may not have chosen to go to a just-started writing course in town.  wouldn’t have started a blog, and I wouldn’t have met all of ye. For that, I’m eternally grateful.

-Fiachra