On what basis?

So I am getting into my characters and enjoy writing them into scenes and putting them in scenarios where I want to hug them or laugh with them and I have realised I have loosely based two characters (one main) on people I know. Writing them is easier than the ones I have not as I know their routines, characteristics, habits and personality without making it up.

So with the other characters I am now wondering if to also do this or keep with what I have?

I need to make sure all characters are treated like they are the main one but its proving hard and feel they are getting side lined 😦

Have you based any characters with anyone you know? Are your sub characters not in the lime light as they should feel to be?

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2 Responses to On what basis?

  1. Mayumi-H says:

    Oh, this is a great post! And it’s something I do all the time.

    I think many of our principal protagonists are based mostly on ourselves: who we are, who we want to be, or even who we don’t want to be. But because we’re in their heads the most, it’s easiest to fashion facets of ourselves into them.

    This works for secondary/supporting characters, too. I (loosely) base a lot of them on friends or people in my family, or – usually – combinations thereof. I also draw inspiration from characters I see on television or read about in books. This applies mostly to physical characteristics (because they become easier to visualize, that way), but I’ve found traces of their (fictional) personalities creeping into my characterizations, as well.

    This technique has a lot to do with drawing from your own experiences. Was there a boy you fancied at school but never got to know? Maybe he’s your enigmatic love interest. Do you have a long-lasting but affectionate rivalry with your sister? She can be the counterpoint to your main character’s love triangle. Did you ever have a serious row with a parent? That can be the basis for the power struggle between the doddy chief of police and the spunky lieutenant.

    Treating every character like they’re the main just means to create full characters. If they’re one-dimensional – just a name on the page – that will show through in their dialogue and interactions. But if you’ve created some backstory for them, even if it’s loose, they become more real. They have voices for the reader, and the reader can come to expect particular conflicts or resolutions from them. It doesn’t necessarily mean give every character their own story…just that each character could have their own story, if you suddenly switched the focus of the book.

    Very thoughtful post, Jenny! A good start to a day’s writing. 🙂

  2. thankyou very much- glad to have helped 🙂 you gave me alot to think about so cheers! think im also worried about having too many characters :S

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