My Exceptions To The “Friends In Books” Rule

Posted: June 29, 2013 in Novel, Reflections, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

A while back I wrote a post about how I why I tell friends and family that characters with similar names aren’t based on them (if you wish to read said post, click here). The basic idea was that I don’t put people I know into my books for a variety of reasons and I always let them know that the character isn’t based on them if I know anyone with a similar name.

Well, there are a few exceptions to that rule of not basing characters on people I know. But I’ve only done it twice and only for special reasons. Like, It was for charity. Before I started writing Reborn City, there was a charity drive at my high school. my school was a private school and wasn’t exactly rolling in money, so the yearbook club literally had to pull every cent they could find to afford to print copies of the yearbook and give them free of charge to students. One of the ways they gathered funds was an auction, and I auctioned off a role in RC, starting at $5.

Yeah, that low. Well, I was still dreaming and writing then. I hadn’t published a single short story, let alone shown that I was going anywhere with the writing I was doing. But that didn’t matter for some of the people in my high school, because a bidding war began between two friends of mine, one a junior at the time, the other a freshman. The freshman won with $12 (yes, that low) and true to my word, I included my friend in RC when I wrote the outline and later the story as the main antagonist’s assistant.

I actually enjoyed writing that character, and instead of killing him off, left open the possibility of his return in VR and Book 3. When I told him over Facebook that the book he was in was coming out in November and he got excited, I couldn’t help but think, Not a bad investment you made, my friend.

The other time I included someone in one of my books actually happened rather recently, and it was To prove a point. I was talking with my sister Adi, a mutual friend of ours I’ll call J, and that friend’s younger sister A. Adi and J wanted me to include them in Laura Horn, despite the fact that I normally didn’t do that sort of thing. Even better, they were both demanding main character status. And J’s younger sister was just standing there quietly, not demanding anything of me, just rolling her eyes in amusement. So I went and said, “A, you’re getting a role in Laura Horn.”

Adi and J were like, “Are you kidding me?” I just laughed and laughed, and for added measure, said A was going to be a mean girl with a different last name. A, being A, didn’t care one way or another, but I proved my point: Don’t ask to be in my books, because there’s no guarantee you’ll get a good role or any role for that matter. I’m not sure J and Adi got the message though, because they were asking for roles again this evening. Well, J was asking for a role.

If I ever do another auction, maybe then I’ll give J a chance. But until then, I’m not letting anyone bully me into giving them a role. After all, what would be the point? And what do I owe them that they should badger me constantly? And if I included them, wouldn’t that mean I had to include everybody who wanted a role?

Only a few exception, EVER. And that’s the way I’m going to keep it.

Do you ever include friends or family in your books? If so, who and why?


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