Have you heard of Nicholas Cole?
If you have then no further explanation is needed. If you haven’t click on his name and check out his work. When you have done that come back here.
I was reading one of his articles about writer’s block and he makes the following point:
The hardest part about being a writer is the fact that everyone in your life thinks whatever you’re writing is about them.
Well aren’t you?
And if not, why not?
Where else are you going to get such good material to make your characters realistic?
Now, I don’t mean putting down a carbon copy of your best friend, or your boss, or your girlfriend/boyfriend, and make them responsible for the end of the world. But that persistent habit of glancing at their watch, or the way they push their hair behind their ear, or the way they raise their eyebrow suspicious that you are writing about them, is certainly worthy of inclusion.
In the latest novel I am writing, my wife is all three of the main female characters. In one she is French, in another American, in the other English – don’t tell her about the last one though, as she is Welsh! All three of the characters look different, are different ages, but they all carry some characteristics of her, even if on occasion it is stylised or just plain exaggerated.
Consider your friends and family.
How would your story change if the villain was some version of your best friend, the person who knows you best in the world, and therefore your villain knows your hero to the same extent?
What happens if the person in front of you at the coffee shop has a secret which people would kill to keep secret?
What happens if the homeless person you just tipped some change to tells you that your family are in danger?
Whoever is in your life – write about them!