Write you In.

Have I ever been asked to put someone in to one of my stories? No, I don’t think I have. I have based characters off of people in my life. Family members and friends often make little appearances, it can be something as simple as a look they have, a mannerism in speech. When I was writing Jade: Out of the Ashes I texted my aunt to ask her if I could borrow her name. A character suddenly appeared in the story who I did not plan on being in the story at all. She demanded some attention. This kind woman reminded me so much of my aunt that I knew I couldn’t use any other name. That and I love her name! Mora-Leigh, it is such a beautiful name and I have only ever met one person with it. My aunt was pleased to let me borrow her name and to use some of her traits in the story. I think she was the first person to purchase the book when it came out. I remember her texting me within a few hours of it going live to tell me that she had already read the part that has her in it. She had skipped ahead to the end of the book and read that first because she knew that was where that character showed up! I was glad that she was pleased with what she read.

I think it would be difficult to intentionally base a significant character on someone I know. I would be too worried that they wouldn’t like something I did. That they would respond with “I would NEVER do that!” or “I wouldn’t say that!” That is far too much added stress to writing for me.

 

I have been added into a friend’s book though. One day I received a text “How do you feel about being a ghost?” Haha, I’m sure anyone else would have thought that was a strange question to be asked but when you’re an author and your friends are authors, those sort of conversations seem to happen A LOT!

About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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8 Responses to Write you In.

  1. Lucy Kubash says:

    It is funny the sort of conversations writers have amongst themselves. Might actually scare anyone else!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m not sure how I’d respond to a text asking if I’d mind being a ghost! How nice that your aunt was happy to have you use her name and traits. What a great way to honor her.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I just adore it when characters take over, after the initial shock, however. It’s amazing how they will sometimes not do what you want them to do, or demand more.
    A ghost? Well, I’d like to think that when I am gone,I will know where to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff Salter says:

    Like Patricia indicated, I might be a little discombobulated if another author asked to use me as inspiration for a ghost. That said, for a brief period, with a couple of friends (from another town) who I met at a safety conference, I was briefly nick-named “spook”. Though they never explained why.
    I think it’s because I told them that I’d never had a nick-name. Ha.
    As for using your aunt’s name and her loving that character — that’s what writing is all about.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    It might be fun to be a ghost in a book! And yes authors do have odd conversations.

    Like

  6. As I’ve said before, it’s a hard thing to actually represent a real-life character in writing. You never know how they’ll respond. That’s why in the case of using my friend’s name and her dog in my current WIP, I got permission in writing before I wrote her into the story, for all the reasons listed previously and above. The only stipulation she made was not to make her into a serial killer, which I hadn’t planned to (not even remotely). And I don’t plan to describe her in detail, nor use any of her traits for this character, only her name and a instance in her working career.

    If you ask the experts, they will advise you to be very careful when using a real person or a well-known name, no matter how close you are to the person you plan to use for inspiration.

    Strange thing just occurred to me. I’ve never been asked to be in a story. Either I’m too much like everyone else, or too unbelievable to base a character on. LOL My guess is the later. (snicker, snicker)

    Liked by 1 person

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