I think we've all done it to some degree or another, based a major character on somebody we know or once knew. Or we've taken bits and pieces and aspects of people we know and combined them to come up with our characters. If things are going well, the characters we write will become their own people and declare their independence from their originals. Right? Even so, there's still the awareness that So-and-So in real life was the model or inspiration for this or that character in the book we're working on. That said, have you ever found out, in the middle of writing your novel, that something awful had happened to a person one of your main characters is based on? Did that affect how you saw your character? Or how you felt about writing him or her? I'm asking because my male MC in my work in revision is based on a guy I used to be pretty close to back in the '80s. That was long ago and far away in another universe (to echo a phrase), and besides, my character stopped being him ages ago. Still, I was devastated to find out two weeks ago, quite by accident, that my character's real life original died back in 2012. It's hit me harder than I would have expected and for awhile here I haven't been able to write much. It's almost as if I'd envisioned my character as living on forever young and strong in the world I created for him, but now I'm having to deal with the unwelcome fact of his "mortality." His original has died, and someday he must, too. Then there's the intrusion of real life. I find myself wondering, Is it frivolous of me to be writing this character with the actual man he's based on is gone? Yeah, I know that's a silly way to feel, but there it is. Anything similar happen to any of you? Or am I just being a sentimental idiot?