Do you base your book characters on real people?

I have seen this a lot on twitter recently, people asking if its morally OK to base them on people you know – I would say I cant answer that, in honesty – I have tried to base characters on people that I know, and as I have said previously, my characters begin to develop themselves as I write more and more down on the page, drifting further away from the person I wanted them to be like, and creating a totally new person – a brand new character.

I feel like the freedom you get from writing lets you experiment too, so you stop trying to create this version of a person you know, and let them create themselves. It’s interesting to me, how people are so drawn to attach themselves to characters and find a likeness – or a parallel of themselves.

It’s as if your subconscious has hidden the person in your mind, and as you are writing the words down on the page, you get to know them yourself, so my advice when developing characters would be to not put too much pressure on yourself, let them do the work, and it will all work out in the end, trust me.

I had no ideas or names for my characters, I gave them nicknames to begin with, and as I got to know them I decided what name would suit them, and before i knew it, my characters were in my head like people I had known my entire life.

Another tip for when you are developing your characters if you are really struggling, is write down the role you intend them to play in your book, do spider diagrams of what characteristics and traits suit that role, I watch movies and read books and often think “yeah i like that aspect of the character” think what you most admire or hate in characters and take that – remember it because it will come in handy for when you are writing.

And that is all for today,


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