Monday, March 24, 2014

If Your Characters Were Real..

It’s one thing to imagine my characters as real people, arguing with me over which way a manuscript should go. It’s another thing to see my characters living and breathing before my very eyes. Because I don’t usually base their appearance on actors or people in my life, so seeing someone who looks exactly like the person I’ve been writing about would freak me out.

It has kind of happened before, on some level—that I’ve crossed paths with people who held a striking resemblance to my imaginary creations. And in those cases, I’d stop, stare, maybe even take mental notes, and then, after further observation, realize they don’t look that much like my character after all.

But what if they not only looked the part, but acted the part? What would you do then? I suppose for some writers it might go a little something like this:


Do you guys tend to base characters on the real people around you? If so, is it weird watching those people live real life, all while orchestrating their fictional lives with a click of the keys?  Have you ever come face to face with someone who seemed to pop straight out of your imagination?


PS- posting next clip just for fun. Love these guys!

175 comments:

Royce A Ratterman said...

I usually base my characters on a compilation of individuals I have known throughout my life, many times accentuating the poignant 'attributes' I wish to convey, including versions of old friends' characteristics, mannerisms, lifestyles, etc. that I have edited slightly.
By using people I have known/met/experienced throughout my life, individually or compiled, it enables me to envision them clearly and consistently as I write.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I take inspiration for characters and personal life events from my own experiences, but none of my characters are directly based on anyone I know. I'd be too afraid of offending them if they found out :-p

Dianne K. Salerni said...

It is sometimes a little freaky when I see an actor/actress who looks astonishingly like my mental image of a character. However, if I watch them for a little while, they don't usually ACT like my character, and the resemblance fades in my mind.

That happened with Jared Padalecki, coincidentally, before I ever watched Supernatural. He looked like my Riley, but then I started watching the show, and now I don't think of him that way anymore. The same goes for Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones. I saw her face on posters in the London subway last summer, and was utterly fascinated because she looked like my Evangeline. Then, I watched the show ... LOVE Daenarys, but she's not Evangeline.

Vicki Rocho said...

It reminds me of Stranger Than Fiction - where everything she writes happens to the guy.

I just saw the eyes of one of my characters this weekend. It was startling! She was coming out of a store I was going into, otherwise I might have worked up the courage to look like a complete idiot and ask to take an inspirational picture!

Old Kitty said...

I have an evil villain based on a real person brewing in my mind! LOL!! I think it's a healthy way to deal with people you don't like! LOL! Take care
x

Jane Jazz said...

Found you on Twitter Katie! I once saw a guy whose fair hair flopped over his face and got swept away in just the same way my character Tom's always did. I wanted to follow him and say, 'I don't suppose you're a sculptor are you?' What if I had.... and he'd said yes?!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't think I've ever met anyone who looked like my characters. I have a hard time even selecting actors who appear close. Since my characters are from alien races, it would be a bit freaky to see them in real life!

Meika Usher said...

I always start off with a basic character description and find an actor/actress that matches. The visual, for me, helps a lot!

PS: I LOVE those Supernatural boys. So cute! That last clip is one of my favorites.

SA Larsenッ said...

I loved that guy on Supernatural, the one they used as the creator of the story.

Whether I like to admit it or not, the 'real' people in my life surely influence traits and/or characteristics of my characters. It's what I know. I take something familiar to me and then tweak it so that character can claim it for him/herself.

Angela Brown said...

I remember watching the episode where Dean and Sam showed on the author's doorstep. Priceless is all I can say.

I try not to base much on the people around me. I may pick a trait from this person here and another from that person there, but doing it that way keeps me from having that "Holy Crap" kind of moment of feeling I've run into a fictional character.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

My main character in the story I'm working on right now is a lot like me, because the story is a fictionalized version of my own experiences. I haven't really met anyone else who resembled my characters, though I have observed some people and thought, "Hmmm. I wonder what the story would be like if they were part of it?"

Natalie Aguirre said...

I haven't seen anyone who resembled my characters. But I do sometimes base their appearances on actors I've seen.

Christine Verstraete said...

Stopping by as part of the blog blitz. Good to meet ya! My characters would scare me if anyone looked like them - they're part zombie. haaa! GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

Rajlakshmi said...

That must be quite a different experience. But if anything like Sam n Dean happens, that would freak me out too. But on the other hand, your descriptions are realistic... That's mark of a good writer :)

cleemckenzie said...

I don't base my characters on people I know--at least not intentionally. However, I was totally blown away when one day I was downtown waiting for a friend to join me and one of my characters strolled by. What could I do, but follow him? OMG he walked just like my character, he laughed like him and he dressed like him. I had to turn around and go the other way or risk being nailed as a stalker.

Oh, and BTW you're being BLITZED today! Congrats.

Masquerade Crew said...

That would be kind of creepy, seeing your imaginary friend. I don't write much so I can't say how I would write characters, but my guess is that I would have a hard time visualizing them because I'm not good with appearances. I tend to glaze over those parts of a book.

Michelle Wallace said...

Nice to meet you CQG!
My flash fiction characters are somewhat underdeveloped so I'd have to say no, I haven't come face to face with anybody from my imagination...
Happy Blog Blitz Day!
Writer In Transit

drkillpatient01 said...

If my characters became real, I'd truly go mad. They are a product of severe terrors, traumas, madness, rebellion, and strange dreams.

Anyway, it's 26th already on my side of the world. You are supposed to be Blitzed by members of Blog Blitz. Have a great "blitzed day", Creepy Query Girl. Creepy sounds cool, by the way.

Seumas Gallacher said...

happy blog blitz day, m'lady :)

have a great week,

Seumas Gallacher

Erin L. Funk said...

I never base my characters on people from real life. I like them to have identities of their own. In fact, I won't even use names that are the same as anyone I know, because I don't like to be reminded of someone else when I'm focusing on a character. Great question! I hope you have a lovely Blog Blitz Day! :)

Miranda Hardy said...

Hi Katie! I'd be just as freaked out as that guy. My characters live entirely in my mind, so seeing them in person would be a little off setting.

Happy Blitz Day!

Elizabeth Hein said...

Katie, my characters are composites of people I've met over the years, but I did have a funny experience a few years back. I was having coffee with a writer buddy when she looked like she was about to faint. A man that looked, moved, talked like her main character had sat down at the next table. I had to get her out of there before she had a nervous breakdown. Coffee shops can be dangerous.

Happy Blitz Day!

Maryann Holloway said...

I write mostly flash fiction so my characters are created quickly and don't hang around too long but I think the world around us influences us to the point that some of people we know creep into our characters.

DL Hammons said...

Like the others above, most of my characters are composites of the people I've come across in real life. It's fun being the puppet master though, pulling a string and watching them act a certain way. I do, however, base their physical characteristics on actors or models (as you can attest from my Pinterest board) because it helps me visualize their actions.

Oh...BTW...you've been BLITZED. Enjoy! :)

Tina Downey is a victim today as well.

Carolyn Brown said...

Happy Blitz Day!

Laura Marcella said...

I don't base my characters on actors or friends either. They're completely from my imagination. So I haven't yet met a look-alike in real life. That would probably be weird but funny too!

Happy Blitz Day, Katie!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Melanie Schulz said...

I have a mix. Some of my characters are blends of people, some just a figment of my imagination, but I do tend to need visuals, so I have a journal with tons of look-alike pictures.

Christine Rains said...

*LOL* I love Supernatural! I don't base my characters on real people, but there's been a few times where I've seen a person and was taken aback. They never act like my characters, though!

Happy Blitz Day! :)

Joanne said...

I think I have a character that looks like YOU. Just kidding. Happy Blitz day. I really like your blog. Enjoy and keep writing

Vicki Rocho said...

What fun it was to see your name on the Blitz menu! Enjoy the swarm of comments!

Kimber Leigh Wheaton said...

Most of my characters are purely fictional creations manifested by my overactive imagination. Though, I have to admit, I see a lot of my husband in every villain I write :)

Happy Blitz Day!

Abs said...

I LOVE Supernatural! It's been a long time since I wrote fiction, so I can't really answer the questions in your post but Happy Blitz Day!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And guess what Katie? It's Blitz Day for you!!!

Connie Keller said...

I've never had that happen, but it sounds very cool. It did remind me of the movie Stranger Than Fiction (which an earlier commenter also mentioned) and little bit of the movie My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. I love movies about writers and writing.

Happy Blog Blitz Day!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I haven't met anyone who looked exactly like my characters, although one of them was inspired by someone I know. I've met them in my dreams, though.

Happy Blitz Day!

Medeia Sharif said...

Real people do inspire me to write and sometimes I meet people who remind me of my characters.

Happy blitz day.

Susan Stuckey said...

I've, luckily, never seen any of my characters in real life. That is probably a good thing because I would certainly behave strangely if I did (probably make everyone wonder how crazy I was).
Happy Blitz Day!!

Keith Channing said...

I suppose that, given the vast number and variety of people on this planet, there must be a statistical likelihood of it happening. No less creepy for that, though. Now, if they looked and acted the same, and had the same name...
Happy Blitz Day!

Elise Fallson said...

I remember that episode, love Sam and Dean! I have never seen my characters in real life, it would be kinda strange I guess, especially if they were doing magic and plotting world domination. :D

Happy Blitz Day!

Zan Marie said...

Of course, my characters are real! How can they not be when they argue and fume when I do the wrong thing in *their* story? ;-)

Happy Blitz Day, Katie!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Woo! happy blitz day!

I have occasionally seen someone irl life that looks like my characters. It's kind of weird, and I can never stop staring

Charmaine Clancy said...

I do base characters on the real dogs in my life :)
Happy Blitz!

Marcia said...

I think I'm more apt to meet people who act like my characters than look like my characters.

Kelly Hashway said...

First, how awesome is your blog header? Love it! :)
Second, I don't consciously try to base characters off people I know. They usually come to me like new friends.
Third, happy Blitz Day!

Trisha F said...

This has never really happened to me - but sometimes there'll be a person, a celebrity or something, that gives me the idea for a character.

Trisha F said...

OOOPS, I forgot to say happy Blitz day :P

2unpublishedgirls.com said...

"Ah, jeez. It's a Misery thing." LOL

Great post! Love your blog.

Happy Blitz Day.

-RB

Lori said...

Hey! Happy blitz day! I like your blog! :-)

Karen Walker said...

I didn't intend for my characters to be based on anyone I knew, but somehow they have little bits and pieces of me and others in my life. Happy Blitz Day!

K. Nowinsky said...

I can totally visualize my characters and I think some of them would just be straight up bizarre if they were 'real'... but their personalities are humanistic and drawn from my life experiences.

Happy Blitz Day!!

Heather M. Gardner said...

OMG! I'm laughing so hard that should count as an ab workout!

Thank you for posting those.

I try not to base characters on real people but it happens anyway.

BAZINGA!

You've been blitzed!

Have a great day!

Heather

Johnell DeWitt said...

Oops. I'm late on the blitz. But I have had characters pop out at me that I wouldn't have considered except for something at that moment that triggered something different in my min.

Nicki Elson said...

I LOVE that episode! "Is this a Misery thing?" hehe.

It's always hard for me to do the casting thing with my characters because nobody ever fits 100% - but it's fun when they come close.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Stopping by from the Blitz! Have a great day!

John Harp said...

Happy Blitz Day!
Wonderful post, not sure I've ever had this happen personally.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I have always played that game- can it be a game if only me, myself, and I play?- anyway, I'd see a person and try to guess who they are by their clothes, speech, and actions. In stories, I can guess and always win.

Loved that scene!

happy blitz day :)

S.K. Anthony said...

I'm not sure about my characters but if Dean was one of mine I'd write some interesting adventure we would both go on. Ahem, For a second I forgot what I was here for...those pretty faces distracted me.

I did run into a character look alike once, but the situation didn't allow me to act like I would have loved to (like take a million pictures of him) still, it's cool and creepy. lol

Happy Blitz Day ;)

Marci Koski said...

I'm not really a fiction writer, but this is a great question! It kind of makes me wonder about TV and movie producers...like Seinfeld or The Office for example. Those are fictional characters, but the actors seem to embody the characters so well you have to wonder if the writers eventually shifted from writing for the character to writing for the actor. Know what I mean?

Oh - and HAPPY BLITZ DAY!!! :)

marci from Fuzzy Undertones (marcilicious.com)

Jeff Chapman said...

Happy Blitz Day! My characters come to life for me as I write about them and ask myself questions about them. So far they have remained safely locked away in my head or on paper. No real-life encounters, not yet.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It seems only natural that some of the characters in our books would bear some resemblance to people we've actually known, if not in appearance, then in behavior. Having a real person in the back of our minds when we're writing makes it easier to create a real character on paper.

Love those clips! I've never seen the show, but now, I want to see it.

Oh by they way, feeling woozy? You should, because you, my dear, are getting BLITZED today. Enjoy!

Pk Hrezo said...

Happy Blitz Day CQG!!

It happened to me last summer at the Neil Gaiman book signing. I saw a girl who looked just like I imagined my MC to look. I kept staring at her. lol

Amy Jarecki said...

Love the brooding and pensive shoulders! Happy Blitz Day!!!

Carrie-Anne Foster said...

I really can't imagine this. Authors must have a difficult time when their book goes into movie/theatre production.

Christina Mercer said...

Great post! Having a "visual" of a character is helpful. I use Pinterest to gather pics for this very purpose. AND HAPPY BLITZ DAY!! From one fellow YA writer to another :-)

LuAnn Braley said...

Happy Blitz Day! I haven't really consciously thought about copying people from real life. I mean, I'm sure I probably have, but I just haven't planned it.

Silvia Villalobos said...

If my male characters were real, I'd fall in love with them. :) If for any reason, just to sooth that internal pain I cause them with nice, friendly words. Nice to meet you. Great post and blog.
Silvia @
SilviaWrites

#1Nana said...

It would be quite strange to come face to face with someone you knew was an evil doer. Perhaps that is why I sometimes have strong feelings about people I see; I've met them before, in my imagination.

I hope you enjoy the Blitz!

Al Diaz said...

Happy Blitz Day! :D

melissajanda said...

Yes! I've met someone who could've come straight from my book! Same profession and physical characteristics. My interaction with him seemed to be a live reenactment from a scene I had written. He even had a barely noticeable scar on his upper lip. That's when it started to get a little weird. I wrote about it in a post (When Your Character Comes to Life). It was surreal. Wonderful post! Happy Blitz Day!

KellieS said...

In my crime thriller, the serial killer looks like Adam Levine, so whenever I see Adam on TV I cringe a little, thinking about the heinous acts of my character. But I really love Adam Levine!

Nice blog here!

Lisa said...

I'm not a writer, but I can see how it would be freaky seeing one of your characters walk by!

Good luck on the challenge!

Happy Blitz Day!

Ella said...

Happy Blitz Day! I have seen people who resemble and act out things I write about-it is kinda mind blogging and cool-so far not creepy!


Beth Ellyn Summer said...

I usually create them out of my imagination, but I have met people that seem to be exactly like my characters and that is always SO weird! Happy blitz day!!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Holy Crap! I just opened up my email and the first thing I thought was 'I got BLITZED!' Ha! Thank you all so much! Thanks DL;)

deborahkreiserfrancis said...

Happy Blitz Day! Love your blog--and your post. It is weird to see people who resemble my characters, and yet it makes me feel like maybe I'm writing them pretty true-to-life.

Khushboo Motihar said...

Loved the post. I can't imagine my characters coming to life. Cool video too.

Happy Blitz Day :)

Michelle McLean said...

I think I use the mannerisms and quirks of people I see around me rather than their looks. But I will often use some small feature, a scar or someone's strange eye color, etc. And happy blitz day! :D

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Sometimes I base my characters on real people, or real animals, because my children's stories involve animals. But other times,they are totally fictional.
Happy Blitz Day and best wishes

Kelley said...

Happy Blitz Day!!!
I do base my characters loosely on traits or physical characteristics in people that I know, that I find compelling in some way. I have not had the experience of meeting someone a new and them striking me as someone I've written. I imagine that would be strange...

Best to you!

Timothy Brannan said...

I have said in the past that my characters are my Id, Ego and Superego. My current favorite character is my Anima; because we all eventually drop Freud in favor of Jung.

HAPPY BLITZ DAY!!!!!!

Tiana Smith said...

My characters are kind of vague in the looks department in my mind. So I don't think anyone would really stand out to me. But occasionally an actor would be perfect and I kind of cyber stalk them… I mean, no, I'd never do that…

Maria Dunn said...

I love the way you think. I can see you bumping into one of your characters or a facimile and just imagine your reaction. You've given me something to think about as I meet people now. I can imagine a sly smile crossing my face as I contemplate the character in them or that they may become. Great blog. God bless, Maria

Brandon Ax said...

Happy blitz day. I always feel the characters are all part you and part people you know applied to a certain situation.

Theresa Milstein said...

I have based characters on amalgamations of people I've seen and people I know. But I've never met anyone after the fact. That WOULD be creepy!

Reminds me of the movie Stranger than Fiction. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Oh, and Happy Blitz Day!

M. J. Joachim said...

They say everyone has a twin. I suppose that's true even for some of our fictional characters! Wow, what a thought...creepy! Happy Blitz Day :)

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

What's the show? Is this that Vampire Diary I keep hearing about? Also...BLITZ!

Susie said...

I am a nonfic writer so my characters are pretty much ME, ha! But I look forward to exploring your blog a bit this morning after seeing your name on the Hammond Blitz thingy.
Susie

Nicole Zoltack said...

I take different people's qualities, good or bad, and mash them together to create some characters. Others I just completely make up. Trust me, some of my characters I would never want to meet!

Someone recently told me that I look exactly like they picture their MC. I thought that was really cool. :)

Happy Blitz Day!

J.L. Murphey said...

My characters are a compilation of many people. Happy blitz day.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I try not to base characters on real people but sometimes bits and pieces sneak in there. You've been blitzed.

Emma Adams said...

Happy blitz day!

When making my characters, I take characteristics from people I know, or even from other characters in books I read. I never base them on one person, possibly due to fear of being hunted down by said person. :P

Kate Larkindale said...

Most of my characters aren't based on real people, but in one project, they were very closely based on people I actually knew. It was very weird when I hung out with some of them about a year after finishing the book...

Happy Blitz Day!

Arlee Bird said...

I do often base characters I write about on people I know, have observed, or have read about. I like to have something tangible to connect with when I write, though I do change up a lot about the characters so that the real life people probably wouldn't recognize themselves in my stories.

Happy Blitz Day!

Lee
An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Catherine Stine said...

My characters are usually made up of bits and pieces of people I know, or imagine, so I've never really met up with someone that I got embarrassed by in that way. But yes, that would be weird!

Julie Dao said...

Woo-hoo, happy blitz day!!! I imagine my characters being real all the time. It's so much fun! I don't know if I would *really* hang out with them... they tend to be really arrogant egomaniacs for some reason, except for the two that are "strangely" a lot like me ;)

Ink in the Book said...

I think many writers base characters on people the know. Maybe. Then again, writing about supernatural creatures isn't easy unless you know one, and they aren't real. Or are they....
Happy Blitz!

Tim Knight said...

Happy Blitz Day! What a great topic. I definitely base some characters on people I know, but then it can kinda weird if you're putting the characters in dangerous or peculiar situations. In that case I tend to prefer to use elements of real people, rather than lifting them whole cloth.

Greg Pattridge said...

My characters are a combination of many – with a few unique traits thrown in. I have had the experience of shopping in a grocery store and standing in line behind a mother and son – they were talking to each other like my characters. It was kind of surreal.

Yolanda Renee said...

My characters are real, me, I'm the fake!

Happy Blitz Day!

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

Happy Blitz Day!

I think if I saw one of my characters walking around, I'd think my (full time, day) job got to me and that I'd need to check myself into my job - I work in mental health! :-)

Normally, my characters may have a quality or two that I've selected from someone I've met or interacted with, but they are mostly straight out of my (twisted) mind.

Lyre at Lyre's Musings

SA Larsenッ said...

I was here yesterday, but I had to come back to BLITZ you!!!

Julie Flanders said...

Happy Blitz Day!!

Beverly Fox said...

Happy Blitz day!!!! Is it sad that few (if any) of my characters are real enough for me to identify them if I saw them?

I mean, if they came knocking in my door and introduced themselves as them that'd be one thing. But just seeing them? I don't have strong enough visuals in my head for that.

Suzanne Furness said...

I don't base characters intentionally on individuals but I guess character traits of people we have meet/seen will inevitably creep in somewhere.

Happy Blitz Day!

marciastrykowski.com said...

Hi, fun post. Like many, I totally make up my characters, but once in a while I'm very surprised to see someone who could easily be that imaginary character--weird. Enjoy the blitz!

Chrys Fey said...

Seeing a woman who looks like the character in my supernatural-thriller series would really freak me out since she has silver hair and neon green eyes. ;) I think my jaw would drop to the ground.

Actors/actresses have inspired a few of my characters. Seeing them wouldn't shock me because of my character but simply because of who they are. haha

Great post! Happy Blitz Day!!!! :D

M said...

Hmm. I often have a mental picture, and sometimes it's of a known actor, but just as often not. Dunno what I would do if I were to meet someone who looked and acted like my character(s), though.

Happy Blitz!

~MPL

Jen Naumann said...

Happy blitz day!

I don't think I've ever "used" real people in a story. Maybe the likeness of someone I've met on the street, but that's about it. LOVE Supernatural, btw!

Kristin Smith said...

My main characters take on an identity of their own, but the initial inspiration for minor characters sometimes comes from people from my past.

I had that experience once where I "saw" (on television) one of my characters. He was everything I'd ever pictured for my male character, but he was an unknown actor to me. When I realized the man I'd been picturing in my head for the past couple years actually existed, I was floored! It is a weird experience to have your character "come to life" in that way.

Happy Blitz Day!! :)

GSMarlene said...

I don't usually base my characters on anyone a know. Probably a few tidbits here and there. But I don't have a comparative type brain, so maybe I wouldn't even notice if I met my character!

Hope you enjoy the Blitz!

Jaimie Ramsey said...

Usually I unintentionally base characters on people I know, combining various real traits to make a fictional character (and adding some totally made-up stuff in there too).

Happy Blitz Day! :)

farawayeyes said...

Very interesting post. While I do base my characters on people I've met somewhere along the line, it's mostly just my first impression of those real live people and not any in depth analysis of their personalities. It would completely creep me out to meet someone who totally embodies one of my characters (looks, personality traits, mannerisms, etc.)

Enjoy your day. just in case you haven't noticed, you've been blitzed.

Katie Doyle said...

I've never met any of my characters and have no idea how I would react.

I must say, though, I would be thrilled to find Sam and Dean at my door, lol=)

Happy Blitz!

M Pax said...

I would love to run into people who like like my characters. I'd have to stop them and talk to them. Then they'd think I was a loon. It'd be a weird day.

Kim Van Sickler said...

Wow, you have been blitzed good already. I like to thumb through magazines and cut out pictures of people in the initial stages of my story, then I refer to them as I write and if I come up with a physical quirk as I'm developing/writing, I draw it on my picture. So far I've only done this for my books, not my short stories. Maybe because it's easier to keep my characters fully in ind for a short, but not so easy for a novel.

L.G. Keltner said...

This has happened to me too! I don't base my character appearances on real life people either, but once I see someone who looks like that character, I begin to wonder if my writing is somehow bleeding into the real world. If it is, I need to be a little nicer to my creations.

Happy Blitz Day!

Jeremy [Retro] said...

all my characters are based off people i know, so that is chilling i guess. normal with a twist, so when you hear a knocking on the door... don't answer it, it might be me. lol!

Ida Chiavaro said...

Hi Creepy - Happy blitz day - Glad you posted that second laundry clip - very funny - Makes me want to create more characters based on people I know -

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal said...

Happy Blitz day!! It would be quite creepy and a bit weird if I really saw some character from a book I wrote.
For that I have to write a book first though, All the best for yours!

Crystal Collier said...

Hah! I totally met my romantic lead once, and it sent me into heart palpitations. Seriously. The guy must have thought I was a total freak because I almost collapsed right in front of him, then stared like I was watching death approach me. It was amazing!

Oh, by the way, happy blitz day!

Michael Di Gesu said...

I TOTALLY base my stories on people I've met and my life's experiences are always a part of my characters. Each one a bit of me.

LOVE when I meet my characters in person. I watch people ALL the time and enjoy sitting on the sidelines whenever I can.

I'd been in the spotlight for more than half my life, so blending into the background is fun. Only happens when I go out to events where I don't know anyone. That's when I 'disappear' and make mental notes.

HAPPY BLITZ DAY!

messymimi said...

The characters i've invented are not from real life, but i occasionally see someone who is close to one, and it's a bit odd.

Michelle 4 Laughs said...

I once based a minor character's extra-huge mustache on a man from my church. Now whenever I see him, I go 'oh yeah.' It was my first book and much loved but long shelved. :-)

Happy blitz day!

ayjay said...

I have a tendency to base my characters on how I always imagined my gradeschool friends would end up being as adults :)
Happy Blitz Day!

Bish Denham said...

I thought that happened to everyone... Am I crazy?

Happy Blitz Day to you
Happy Blitz Day to you...

dither said...

I've tried a couple different approaches to character creation, since no one method has given me solid characters twice in a row.

When I first started cartooning, there was a blonde woman I drew about a hundred times. I was 17, and worked part-time at a greeting card store.

One day during a slow period, I was staring out the front window and I swear I saw a real-life version of her walk by, wearing the same clothes I had drawn her in dozens of times.

Craziness.

--Nick

Jeff Hargett said...

I remember that episode. Leave it to Supernatural to find a clever take on something and own it. Great show.

I too never base characters on anyone I know. My character would become that person if I did.

Happy blitz day!

VikLit said...

Great clip! Happy Blitz day.

Sarah Negovetich said...

That's exactly why I can't base my characters off of real people. Too many conflicting emotions when they don't behave the way I wrote them to.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Happy Blitz Day!!!
And although I never meant to write a character based on someone in real life, I have once - and it was kind of surprising to realize it afterwards. :)

Guilie Castillo said...

Haha... hilarious :D I tend to create my characters as composites of people I know, but because I write less plot-based and more character-based fiction, I seldom focus on their physical appearance; it would be hard to recognize them just by looking at them. That said, I have come across people, strangers I've met, who turn out to have had--even are having-- situations in their lives too similar to stuff I've made up, and yeah, that feels kind of like Christmas morning in the Twilight Zone :)

Happy blog blitz!

Rhonda Albom said...

My current and first book is a memoirs, so I guess my characters are very real :)
Happy Blitz day!

Dani said...

Ooo, I love your blog!!
Happy Blitz Day!!

VR Barkowski said...

My characters are amalgams of people I've known (how could they not be?), and I do see them clearly in my mind's eye. While it hasn't happened yet, it's certainly possible I could come face to face with one of them eventually. Talk about disconcerting!

My characters are real people to me, so I never ever imagine actors in the roles. I just can't do that.

Happy Blitz!
VR Barkowski

Suzanne Sapsed said...

Hi, love the Winchesters, so thank you for that! My characters are completely imagined, although I use friends and families names :) Happy blitz day!
Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
xx

Lynda Dietz said...

I like running into people who look like characters I'm picturing as I read, although I must scare them because I never really explain why I'm staring.

Happy blitz day! I'm happy to discover your blog.

april said...

I never thought about this before. Happy Blitz Day!

Dannie Morin said...

To give characters authentic mannerisms, I tend to base those things on either actors or TV/Movie characters I'm very familiar with. Their personalities are usually quite different from the original, though.

Happy Blitz Day!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I usually look at, oh, what'shername, the girl from Bridesmaids, Melissa-something? I'm too old to remember and too lazy to check. Anyway, I look at her and I think THERE'S WEEZIE! And she does remind me of my main character, only she's tougher and she swears more.

HAPPY BLITZ DAY CQG! I was impressed how you tried to convince DL to keep blogging. Looks good on ya!

Cheryl Wright said...

I have yet to write a book but it must be fun to put an imaginary person together. Happy Blitz Day!

wastelander3046 said...

I find that the weirdos in my head are starting to resemble the people I meet, not the other way around.
Happy Blitz Day!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I'm a massive Supernatural fan, and those are two of my favorite scenes. "I can't see your face, but those are definitely your brooding and pensive shoulders" -- LOL! I also loved the scenes from Nim's Island, when Jodi Foster's fictional character interacts with her (especially since I did base my own fictional hero on Gerard Butler -- talk about freaky!)

Happy Blitz Day, Katie!

dawnall said...

I don't base my characters on any one person but I shop characteristics of people and put them together into a whole that becomes a character. It's like putting a puzzle together and a lot of fun.

Happy Blitz Day!! Hope it was fun.

lillian888 said...

My romance heroes tend to come from actors for whom I have celebrity crushes. My SF/F/H people come from all sorts of places.

Happy Blitz Day!

Ailsa Author said...

My characters are a mixture of people I know - some I loathe and bad things happen to them in my novels.
Were someone to come back at me having recognised themselves, I'd probably be mortified. My beloved characters are my ideal man in the physical form of one of my favourite actors and yes, it is weird watching him act in something and think - Iamo would never say that!

Mary Hill said...

Happy Blitz Day. I enjoyed reading about characters coming alive. :)

Jenni Enzor said...

Happy Blitz Day! Loved reading about how you saw these characters "come to life." I sometimes get inspired by real people, but they're mixed with fictional attributes. I hope nobody recognizes themselves! :)

Anna Tan said...

Seeing my characters in real life would be reeeeeaaaaallly freaky.

I do base some character traits on people around me, but not too much anymore. I did that before when I started writing and when I posted stuff on fictionpress, EVERYONE was trying to guess who was who.

Happy Blitz day!

anna @ Deeply Shallow
Love blogging? Join us for the A to Z Challenge this April!

Jessica Peterson said...

I loved your post :) What an interesting thing to think of!

Happy Blitz Day

Jennifer Kay said...

Happy Blitz Day :)

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger (大哥) said...

It's not happened to me yet, but it would be fascinating.
Happy blitz day!

Jacquie said...

Happy blitz day! Coming in a little late:)

Kevyn Knox said...

Happy Blitz Day!!

So, as to this particular post. I have always based my characters on a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

When I dream, I see people in my dreams, and I know them inside the dream, but when I awake, I can no longer remember who they were. Their visage is just out of my reach. I assume that they are an amalgam of several different people I either know, or know through a movie of TV show or what have you.

I think this is how I create a character. Not necessarily knowing which parts are from which people (real or fictional) but just knowing I got little pieces from somewhere.

Anyway, Happy Blitz Day!!

Donna Hole said...

Hi Katie!!

I do base my characters off real people, but not usually people I know. I hit up personality traits, mostly from psychology sites and the DSM. I love making fantasy characters or contemporary bad guys with these weird personality traits.

Sometimes characters I totally make up mimic real life people, or from some tv program or movie. Just goes to show the creative mind of an author never rests.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Saw that episode of Supernatural and totally understood his freak out. I don't think my characters would necessarily like me that much if they met me. Happy Blitz Day.

Chippy said...

Happy Slightly Belated Blitz Day!

I wrote myself a reminder and still forgot - it's been one of those weeks!

Chippy

Beth Harar said...

My characters are often based on people I know. It inspires me even more!

Leandra Wallace said...

For the book I just finished, I picked actors who I thought could look similar and put them at the end of a scrapbook featuring my story. It was fun, though w/my current WIP I just used a corkboard. The only actress I've picked so far is Lena Headley, for my main villainness! =) Happy Belated Blitz!

Fanny Barnes Thornton said...

Happy Blitz
Sorry I didn't make it on the exact day. Have a good weekend.

Sherry Ellis said...

Happy Blitz Day! I get inspiration for my characters from people I meet in life all the time!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara Gorman said...

I would have to say I get inspiration from the people around me - Happy Blitz Day!

Donna Smith said...

Happy Blitz Belatedly from on the roads. Hope it was blitzful!

Lara Lacombe said...

Happy belated blitz day! :)

kmckendry said...

I love those clips! I don't base my characters on real people but I do sometimes stare at cute actors for descriptive inspiration! :)

Jennifer Kreft said...

I don't find it creepy when I see people who remind me of my characters, but I'm sure it freaks them out big-time. How unnerving it must be for them to have some stranger staring disbelievingly from across a room. It's happened twice, but I've kept my distance both times out of fear of doing something embarrassing!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

J. Lenni Dorner said...

Ha- I loved that episode.
Have you seen
Stranger Than Fiction?
Similar idea.

I had a writing prompt for a class once which asked what would happen if my main character from the story I had just written were to meet me and discover that I was solely responsible for her life.

I answered along the lines of, "Good-bye cruel world, I'm going to die."

LOL


Have a happy blitz!

Carrie-Anne said...

After I've created my characters, sometimes I get an image in my head of them looking like a certain musician or actor (from the old days, of course, no one modern). Once in awhile, I draw my characters, though I know I'm only an amateur artist.

lilicasplace.com said...

I definitely get ideas for my characters from people around me, shows that I watch, books that I read. Then I take characteristics that I like most and mush them all together! Happy belated Blog Blitz Day to you! Lily

TaMara Sloan said...

I'm not a writer, but I've always wanted to start writing. I think my characters would probably be based on the people around me so I don't know if it would surprise me too much to "run into" one of my characters. Happy belated Blitz Day!

TaMara
Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

Abby Annis said...

Happy belated Blitz! I hope it was a fabulous day! :)

christinalfox said...

Hugs and Love from Australia

Happy Belated Blitz

Crickert

Deniz Bevan said...

Happy belated blitz day!
Luckily my characters aren't based too much on real people. I hope they would like me if they ever came to life!

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