Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I May Have Written You Into My Book.

They always say to "write what you know." Or they say that life seeps into your writing. Who is they? I don't really know, but that's not important. What is important is that it's Wednesday, and along with that is Road Trip Wednesday, which I can participate in this week.

"Who have you written into a book?"

I've written plenty of things with people I know, but those things never make it past the shredder, as they shouldn't. But on occasion, people I know find themselves into my more serious writing endeavors. Since Echo is my only completed manuscript at the moment, (as it's been for a while now, just sitting there...) I'll pull those characters into this post.

I think every character has roots to people I know. Of course that probably happens to everyone. After all, everybody is going to be like somebody is some way. However some of these characters are more blatantly similar than others.

I started by just pulling names. My female main character needed a last name. So I took one from a kid I went to band with. That was the first instance. Then I realized I needed to add more characters. My male main character needed some friends. I pulled a few names out of thin air, rather generic -- Chris, Andy -- and then added two more characters. One I think I pulled out of the yearbook when I just flipped to a random page. But the other, I pulled from... band.

From here I decided I wanted to include somebody from band in every novel I ever wrote, so we'll see how that works out in the future.

The thing about this character -- Travis -- is that I took another trait from another kid in band, and gave it to him -- red hair. Then there was a character whose name I took from someone in my German class. Then I used a friend's name after she asked I stick her in the novel. I think you get the gist. Most of these were names, but with names came faces.

I guess I never really go much farther than that -- names. I don't think I've ever stuck a person I know in a novel, but I think it's going to happen one day. I think it's going to happen soon. I might just do it for the heck of it.


  1. Names are def. something I take from people I know. The people who are really close to me can usually find either their first or last name used in my manuscripts. Nice post-- I like the flipping through yearbook idea :D

  2. Yes, names are usually influenced by people I know-- it's hard to think of a given name without remember all the Sams or Daves or whatever from your past...

  3. Names are a great way to develop a character--especially if they share their name with someone from your history. :)

  4. Hello - new follower - like the band student idea it would be a hoot for them to check back to see who it was this time! I need to use the name Biebeirdorf now - I was in band with him - hehehe.

  5. when i'm stuck for names, i grab names from people on my facebook friends list or from whatever music i'm listening to/tv show i'm watching. which means i usually have to change all the names in revisions. :)