Kronos is For Real!

About a month ago, I uploaded a short story entitled The Things We Do. The story features a flabby pet toad named Kronos, who is unwittingly in danger of being microwaved into oblivion by the jealous neighbor boy, Patrick. Although my short story is obviously a work of fiction, there is still some truth to it. I actually own a toad named Kronos. We did in fact rescue him from a window well. He is flabby and utterly useless, but I adore him nontheless.

So here’s my question for the day: how often do you base fictional characters on real people? With Kronos as the exception, I rarely create carbon copies of real people (or animals) in my writing. Instead, my characters are often compilations of several real-life acquaintances. Do you ever base characters off of people from movies? Television? Books? What is your secret?

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10 comments

  1. I usually make compilations too, although I have been known to ask my friends if they’d like to die in a novel. I usually have pretty large body-counts and they always get to chose their death >:) My friends love it!

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  2. Very rarely. Real people might inspire a particular quirk or reaction, but I never just plan to say, yeah this guy is based off my friend Ted.

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    • I find that I tend to copy quirks more than anything. I usually won’t base a character off of a real person unless that person has an interesting quirk that I find funny/interesting.

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  3. Many times I “cast” characters, the same way I would cast a film, so I usually begin with a “base prototype” of an actor or film character that I enjoy. The hero in one of my current WIPs, for example, is based off of Hugh Jackman — same color hair, face, height, body type, birthdate and astrological sign (just for fun). From there, though, there’s lots of tweaking and mixing. I’ve added a few traits from different film roles that Hugh has been in, and then I sort of just let the character do his thing and evolve as he will. These days, Pierce doesn’t really bear much resemblance to Hugh Jackman at all, but it was a good place for me to start.

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