What I’m writing – real life people


Last week I coined the term Dabbler for myself and gave you pro tips on how you too could achieve this level of mediocrity.

This week, I’m going to give you more of my pro tips – this time about why you shouldn’t base your characters on real life people.

Disjointed worlds

You’ll create a world for them they dont live in and this world will only exist in your head. It can be really tough to disassociate yourself from your fiction and thereby can cause high levels of embarrassment when you “remember” that thing Charlie did last week (that Charlie definitely did not do but your character did.)

The accidental crush

This is a huge pitfall, especially if you’re writing romantic novels. We all have a little soft spot for our protagonist and the partner to our main character. Sometimes a bit more. After all, if we don’t like them, how can we expect our readers to fancy like them? This can lead to unearthing inappropriate feels. And possibly unleashing the monster of badness, depending on your situation.

Slander, libel and defamation

Yeah, you don’t want this. Your characters have to have some deviation from their origins otherwise you could find yourself in a heap of trouble. Just search the web for these terms and you’ll get loads of handy tips about how to avoid being hauled to court because Fred recognised a text conversation and a hair flick in your fiction.

Faked conversations

When you’re knee deep in noveling it becomes hard to separate reality from the world in your head. If you’re really into it, you could find yourself having conversations you didn’t really have. It has the potential to get super messy and people might start to think you’re crazy. Of course, this might be who you are and if so, fill your boots.

Sex scenes

Remember that moment you wake up after having dreamt about sex with someone inappropriate? Imagine that every single time you see your person. Every. Single. Time. You’ll live through that scene each time they come near you, along with all of its requisite blushing moments. It’s not too bad if its someone you know quite well (eg your actual real life partner). If it’s a boss or work colleague, things can get pretty awkward. I do not know this from experience. Much.

Right, that’s your lot for now. I’ve made a few of these mistakes so you don’t have to 😉

Muddled Manuscript

13 thoughts on “What I’m writing – real life people

    1. After reading some of your fiction, you’ll have no problem with writing it. I often fall into these traps because my books are inspired by real life situations or conversations (like the quote at the top.) Most of them are pretty harmless things you can extricate yourself from fairly easily, but there are always risks. xx

  1. Very funny. No I could never do that. My characters need to be completely made up – though perhaps with a mixture of traits I’ve seen or heard before. Can imagine a few blushings if you’re writing naughty stuff!

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