Thursday, November 30, 2006

My not so dark secret….

I have to admit, sometimes, I’m just not a nice person. I carry grudges, people piss me off, usually with good reason, and I remember slights for years and years.

Why the reason for my true confession.

One of my favorite things is to put people I don’t like into my books. Not exactly as they are. And names have been changed to protect the innocent, but they’re in there.

Never as the villain. I like and respect my villains far too much to associate them with annoying, petty people. Nope, they’re usually the buffoons, the annoying co-worker, the cowardly associate, whatever works for the book.

Occasionally these people from my past/present are a minor, minor character. Sometimes a major. I combined two people I disliked for a major character in my current WIP. He turned out to be my favourite character in the book, also the most spineless, weak and morally compromised.

When ever I do this, I think of the quote from what was a really silly movie, A Knight’s Tale. The Paul Bethany character, playing Chaucer, threatened to eviscerate one of his tormenters in print. I always chuckle when I remember that quote.

It’s one of the rarely talked about advantages about being a writer. The ability to take someone we don’t like, and make them an unpleasant character in our books.

In doing so, I’ve found interesting sides to those characters, sad histories that explain their behavior, a sweet side they rarely show others. I’m sure this also applied to the people they’re based on, but I’m probably never going to know.

Am I alone in this? Do other people do this? Or am I the only petty writer out there.

Has anyone else read the book Poison Study by Maria Snyder, I finished it recently and was swept up in it, and completely entertained. I definitely recommend it.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I usually put parts of people I know into my stories. Sometimes they are the henchman (or woman), and other times they are bit characters. It's very therapeutic!

I haven't read Poison Study by Maria Snyder, but I'll check it out. I'm due for a trip to the book store. :)

Molly O'Keefe said...

I always use people's names for characters because they sort of remind me of the secondary or bit character I'm writing about. I do this because I am awful at coming up with names for some reason and then I tell myself that I'll change the name when it goes to print and then I forget. Oops. Most people so far have been flattered.

Wylie Kinson said...

I giggle maniacally over this post. Didn't realize as a writer, I could wield such power! I shall now use my skills for evil... bwahahahahaha

Sinead M said...

I highly recommend you change names when you eviscerate someone in print...
I agree, Christine, it is therapeutic, although the nasty part of me enjoys it far too much. Glad you like the concept as well, Wylie, I'm not alone in my evilness...

Molly, I'm now going to look for a Sinead in your books...

Maia Caron said...

I have written an evil ex-boyfriend into both my books. I've been told by readers that some of this character's antics are too over the top. "But I know someone who really did this?" I cry. Evidently truth is stranger than fiction. It sure is satisfying though, isn't it, to write a character based on someone who has pissed you off?

Deb Kristy said...

Yes!

"I shall castigate you in fiction."

I adored that line! :-D

Deb Kristy said...

Ooops, "I will eviscerate you in fiction!" Ahem, that's what I meant :-)

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