How many times in the course of writing history has the author taken life experiences and/or people in his/her life and wrote it into the current novel he/she is writing? Countless! I know this from experience; I am one of those authors who have taken life experiences and based characters (or character’s traits) on people I know. I often tell people “Be careful, you may end up in my novel…” However sometimes when the writer actually incorporates people around him/her (including myself, which is why I warn people) when the character is depicted doing something wrong or not exactly like them, it really aggravates that certain person and in return they lash out on the writer.
Whenever I begin a novel, I try my best to depict the character how I see them, how I picture them, and what their traits or flaws are. I make sure my characters aren’t perfect and often they make mistakes and sometimes it injures the fellow characters in the novel. Then over a course of time as I write and change and add plots as well as characters, they sort of evolve into something I never pictured, sometimes good, sometimes bad. However, it’s always what I feel is best for the novel and whatever the certain character turns out to be a villain or hero(ine) know that is NOT how I see the person I based my character on. I’m never sure how the book will end and I ask that you take into account that I am writing fiction. Which means the book (although is historical fiction) is not at all real. Every character, setting, era, plot, etc… I chose or created through my own imagination.
Like I have said, I never know how a plot is going to end up being like when I finally am able to finish it. I always write out a plot outline so I have some guidance, but then I think “Hey it would be neat if I added…” and thus my book slowly evolves into something I never saw coming. Yet in the end I am always very satisfied with the finished project.
I am curious on your thoughts. Has anyone ever used your name, some character traits of yours (good or bad), something from your life, etc… that you didn’t turn out how you thought it would. How did that make you feel? Did you enjoy the book? Are you still friends with that writer? I welcome your thoughts and any discussions. I hope to revisit this topic later on.