“Are your characters patterned after anyone you know?” That’s a common question interviewers ask a fiction author, because that’s often what readers want to know. As an author, I love when people ask that question! That means they want to know more about a character. It means that for some reason, they care. That’s always a good thing.
are the most important part of a story. After all, the world revolves
around people, the characters in our own lives, in our own stories.
Isn’t everything really about people, about relationships, about how
people interact with one another?
development is key to drawing readers into a story. If you do it right,
readers somehow identify with your characters. They either have similar
traits, or hopes and dreams, or feelings, or fears. Or they may know
someone like your characters.
You want to develop your character
into a multi-dimensional, relatable actor, as well as cultivate a
relationship between your character and the reader. It can be a
friendship or an adversarial relationship. It can be a combination of
both, depending upon the complexity the character and the situation he
or she is placed into.
Allowing, drawing readers to put
themselves into your character’s shoes creates a bond. Quirks and
eccentricities give characters depth. We all have them. We are all
amazingly alike and uniquely different.
It’s the author’s job to craft characters from the millions of similarities and differences we have.
So, the answer to, “Are your characters patterned after anyone you know?” is yes, and no.
characters are bits and pieces of people I know, of people I’ve read
about, of people who I only know from family and friend’s stories.
and other characters have habits, eccentricities, and traits of other
people, from friends, family, or perfect strangers who happen to come
into my awareness.
And, yes, it is certainly possible that if an author notices you, you may recognize a smidgeon of yourself in a book.