Tip of the day #2.
Basing characters on people and issues that arise.
1. Basing a character on someone you know can be a huge deal, especially to the person. Whereas you may see it as an innocent gesture, whomever you have used may think that it is a sign of how much you care about them or a gesture that you love them. Its a big thing to put someone down in writing, so be careful whom you use and in what context. As well as this, you must be careful who you leave out of your writing. If you write all of your friends bar one into your story that will have repercussions on that person. Just be mindful of peoples emotions as you are writing them.
2. Name taking. If you use someones name, even if you’re not planning on basing that character off of them, it will still become an issue. Psychologically we associate names with faces, so even if you’re just planning on using a name for someone then it will still cause you to subconsciously write the character to fit with the name. This also applies with looks. Using just the looks of someone will cause you to write them differently to how you would if the character were completely original. Using your friends ace will make you write that character as your friend, as you can already picture them reacting to things in certain ways. In other words, use names and looks if you wish but be mindful of how you write that character.
3. Killing the character off. If you base a character on your girlfriend or boyfriend or best mate or mum or dad or brother or anybody then you will face problems if it comes to killing them off. My number one rule of writing is that you only control what happens to an extent. Once you get in the zone of writing then the writing takes you, you catch the rhythm and if it fits it fits. I’ve done it before when I didn’t mean to kill a character off but as I was writing they just died. If you base a character off of someone, even if it fits in the story for them to die, then you will be less likely to want to do so. Remember, its all about your story and, if it fits, it goes. While it may be a lot easier to base your character off of someone, and could be a massive gesture, you have to remember that the plot comes first.