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What is your inspiration for your character development?

  1. Real life (like me)

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  2. Imagination

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. Other

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. Russo
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    Russo Member

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    Basing Characters off Real People

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Russo, Oct 13, 2014.

    I'm thinking about doing some writing... and the idea I have for my characters is that I want to base them off of people in my life. Name inspiration, personality, looks... however, not all in one, just bits and pieces of people.

    I cannot seem to create a character without finding inspiration from my peers, family, co-workers or friends. I tend to think of my character and they automatically remind me of someone I know. Some of the time, I even base them off of myself.

    What are you're thoughts on finding inspiration for your characters based on those around you?

    If I can recall, best-selling author, Nicholas Sparks bases his characters off of his...children? It's been quite some time since I've read on him, so my memory is foggy. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

    I find inspiration for anything I write from everyone and everything around me.
     
  2. Delise
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    Delise Member

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    Usually no one can tell except the people who are closest to you. If you're writing about yourself they might notice but they will certainly notice if it's similar to them. They'll either be happy you used them or they'll try to sue you later on.
    At least in the good old U.S.A they might. I don't know what people do in other countries.

    I also write about people around me and people I dream about or read about in books and in newspaper etc.

    Sometimes I write about myself and create a person that I might have become had I taken a different path in life. Sometimes it creates a really scary and interesting character. Most people don't realize it's based off of me though. Which I think might be a good thing.

    I thinking taking one point and letting your imagination go wild with it, can be exciting. I find I do that a lot and create someone who doesn't sound like anyone I know. Even if it was based of off someone I have met.
     
  3. Russo
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    Russo Member

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    Good point, however, I honestly do not believe my loved ones would care. Every one of them know I love to write and support me 100%. I honestly do not believe they would, as you said, "sue me". Also, with the way I like to use bits and pieces of them, I would morph the character so bad they it would be unrecognizable to the person I based them from. They probably would never know. I usually try and go the personality route and morph the character from there.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know of any writer who doesn't find their characters in real people. I wouldn't write a character who mimicked a real person, but they are certainly amalgamations of people I've known or observed.
     
  5. Lemon flavoured
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    Lemon flavoured Active Member

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    Exactly. I think it would be very difficult to come up with 100% original characters all the time.
     
  6. themadhatterman
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    themadhatterman Member

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    This can probably be taken the wrong way, but I base every character off of myself. Be it men, women, children, talking elephants or whatever. I think characters in stories are so much more streamlined than real people. Real people can respond many different ways to something, and for the sake of consistency characters we create are expected to react a certain to maintain their role, create tension and move the plot forward, etc.
     
  7. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of my story is a veiled version of "What if?" At one point, a fascist/nazi government controls America and is exterminating people with magical strength (people known as casters). Well doesn't that sound like Nazi occupied Poland? A foreign government executing people. Well isn't that interesting.

    But the leader of that government is a PoV character, which just sounds silly. So this character is based a lot off of Hitler (great at manipulation and public speaking, fought in previous war where he got into some trouble, etc). But the thing is, he don't know why Hitler caused the Holocaust, and the PoV character gets to explain why (badly, he does it badly, by the way) he's killing all the casters.

    So a lot of my characters are spin offs of real people. Yeah. Many are original and are made up 100%, but it's fun messing with historical figures.
     
  8. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    I would only loosely base a character off a real person, better yet make him or her an amalgam of people you know. You don't want to make someone mad because they don't like how you portrayed them in your story.
     
  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    If they sue you, they don't love you. But if you are basing a character on them, are you not invading their privacy?

    Of course they're not going to sue you, they probably won't even mention it to you. But they may very well care.
     
  10. karmazon
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    karmazon Member

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    I think it's a great way to make the process of writing easier. If you know the person well enough you probably know, without thinking, how they react to certain situations.

    And if anyone is worried about lawsuits, there's always the small penis rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_penis_rule
     
  11. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure if I know anyone interesting enough that I would want to invent a fictional character based on them.
     
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  12. Shayla
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    Shayla Member

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    I think it's great to base characters off people you know. You can't get much realer than that!
    You are at a complete advantage as your characters are ready and raring to go! You will have detail in your characters from thought process to mannerisms.
    Another advantage is that unlike two characters you create from no where, where it's easy to make them react in similar ways as they reflect the writer - With your characters you will know they will react in different ways when faced in the same situation.
     
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  13. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can start with people you know. But make your characters their own people as fast as you can.
     
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