Writing Who You Know

I’m sure every writer reading this has heard the term “write what you know” at some point in his/her career. But what about the characters? Well, I know at least for my book, there are characters based on who I know as well. The key is not to turn them into carbon copies of the people in your life– at some point, they have to become their own. And how do you do that? Well, I believe it happens gradually. In my draft, Jerome had originally been close to exactly the personality of someone I knew. But that person never got diagnosed with cancer (as far as I know)– so how would that person respond to such a life-changing situation? Well, I don’t know. But when Jerome had to face that diagnosis, he had to respond as his own person, not who he was based after. If you are reading this and are not a writer, I’m probably going to sound crazy. But it’s true. Jerome had to become his own person, with his own sense of humor, his own way of romancing his girlfriend/new wife, and his own way of responding to cancer. It was a gradual process– and partly unintentional– but it’s something that had to happen. Jerome had to become his own person. What’s great is it’s fun to see how that happens.

This is your chance, as the author, to change the things about the character’s real-life inspiration that you wish were different– how his/her life turned out, how he/she smiled/laughed/had a mole on his/her nose– and have everything perfect– or, as my boyfriend would say, “perfectly flawed.” Your creativity is wishing to be let out upon that character, so let it. Don’t like your friend’s nose? Well, first, don’t tell him/her that (and I promise my friends that their noses are fine 🙂 ). But here is your chance to change it. Wish he/she talked like a favorite movie character? Make it happen! Our brains compile many things we love and hate, and we have an opportunity to be creative and put many of those things together :-). Here’s your chance, writer! Go and create something wonderful today!! Feel free to leave me a comment or two and tell me something wonderful you can make today using the hashtag #createsomethingwonderful .

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