Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic:
                                 Who (from real life) have you written into a book?

All of my books have at least one character who is (more or less) based on a real live person. I say, "more or less" because they are still highly fictionalized and rarely have their real life appearance or plot things that really happened to them.
Vincent Van Gogh - Roses

My first book has the most. They were a crutch to help
me with characterization. Now I do it more for
sentimental reasons...wanting to have people, and
sometimes settings, that/who've
meant a lot to me represented in my books.

Writing a real person sort of reminds me of an impressionist painting. You're not aiming for a replication of reality but a reflection of it based on feelings that is somehow even more real than a carbon copy would be. It's a way to capture that "magic" element of characterization by using your impression of and feelings for a real live person.

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
(Vincent Van Gogh)

What about you? Any people from your life in your books?


  1. Maybe just real small tidbits here and there. But more like habits they do, or items they collect - more quirky stuff.

  2. I love how you described that: You're not aiming for a replication of reality but a reflection of it... Such a great way of looking at it.

    I don't write people from my real life into my books, but I'm also not sentimental in the least.

  3. Such a great point on how you're not aiming for replication and I love your Van Gogh quote.

  4. Your mention of Impressionist paintings and characters in novels prompts me to respond.

    The protagonist in my first novel, in production, is based loosely on two of my good friends who heartily approve. Many of my characters are based on friends or acquaintences. Few would notice as I use mannerisms, not physical characteristics.

    I look forward to reading your posts during the month on April for A-Z blogging challenge!

  5. I modeled one of the characters in my new book after my sister. I'm wondering if she'll recognize herself. She is after all the herione. :)

  6. You hit the nail on the head! Love the analogy. So true! And I like the idea of adding "magic", too.

  7. I tend not to write people I know into the stories, because I enjoy the creation and exploration aspects of characterization too much.

    It's like getting to know someone new and becoming life long friends.


  8. new follower here! Many of my characters are a mixture of the people around me. I suppose it can't be helped. :P

  9. Great analogy for writing real-lifers. I have one character who was inspired by a person I knew, and I've always struggled to explain to people how the character is fiction colored by reality. I'll use your analogy from now on!