Friday, June 14, 2013

Should a Writer Use Friends as Characters?


No!

Well, that's the simple answer. I have a rationale behind my answer:

  1. If the friend doesn't like the characterbye, bye friend
  2. Once started, there's no end
  3. I write the story for readers, not to amuse people I know
  4. My characters have a mind of their own ... and it's never the same as someone I know




I have used friend names for characters, but those characters were very different people. So different that there would be no confusion. I do this occasionally as a tiny nod of acknowledgment. Besides, some of my friends have cool names.

mystery fiction
Be nice to this woman
That said, I have been tempted to follow Mary Higgins Clark's example.

“When someone is mean to me," she said, "I just make them a victim in my next book.”

Now that's a great idea. 

I've encountered a few people I’d like Steve Dancy to castigate. (That’s castigate, not castrate.) I’ve restrained myself so far because of rule #2. I think that if I ever succumbed to temptation, I'd definitely be stepping onto the proverbial slippery slope.


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