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A Writer’s Life

Humor Behind the Inspiration of a Tough, but Fun Craft

Ah, is there anything more fun and controversial than being a writer?

 
Really, is there?

 
Especially for those of us who love to write and touch up on sensitive issues many will dare not touch.

 
Oh, wait, furthermore, what about those of us who base our characters off real people in any given circumstance?

 
Most, if not all my characters in Lord of Columbia have been inspired by real people.

 

We’re going to be burning a lot of bridges here, but that’s the risk of knowing a writer.

 

Hence, when you befriend a writer you’re running the risk of being inserted into their works. You’ve been warned!

 
So, do I at times find it humorous when creating a new character, knowing exactly who they’re based off?

 
Oh, I laugh about it in my sleep!

 
What about blogging?

 
Ditto.

 
I don’t know about you all, but let me tell you, it’s a blast creating characters.

 

 

Science Behind the Character Creation

 
So, I’ve always been one to create a certain character and think, Hmm, who do I know would best fit this character’s description?

 
I look at all sorts of things like personality, physical traits, and even the people they tend to hang with. Though I’ll throw this out there, too: I don’t make it trait for trait. For instance, if I create a character and see someone I know staring back at me, I’m going to change one to two physical features and tweak their personality slightly. I’m not looking to create someone trait for trait, but rather a different version of such a character.

 
Also, it’s easier because I have a base from which to work. For supporting characters, it also allows me to never create my main characters equally; something will always be different. If creating a character from scratch, I’ll run the risk of making characters too identical. By basing them off real people, the risk is much smaller.

 

What About Places

 
Oh, my places can be mirror images of certain towns, too, especially in a region we call the Upper Ohio Valley, consisting of Weirton, Steubenville, and the surrounding areas.

 

Like many writers and authors, I love to make small tweaks to my hometown and places surrounding it.

 
For example, in Lord of Columbia, the primary setting is based off a village called Wintersville, Ohio. Also involved are influences behind nearby Steubenville, Weirton, Pittsburgh (forty minutes east), the Edison Local School District (to the north, also my high school alma mater), and the terrain resembles the area to a T.

 
Like my characters, it becomes an easier task to manage and with my messages, which in Lord of Columbia will be spreading ideas and principles as they’re related to liberty, can focus more on the story being relayed to the reader.

 
Furthermore, the Upper Ohio Valley is such a unique area and I’d love to write an article on it in the future. A brief description though, is it can be described as a cluster of former mill towns located alongside the Ohio River which have seen better times. The lost remnants of a time gone by still haunt the now depressed region, and most of the area’s talented souls migrate to find their fortunes elsewhere.

 

 

Backlash?

 
Oh, heck yes.

 
The Pepsi Guy caught wind of a blog about him on my old blog and shared it on his Facebook. Needless to say, I’m not the most popular guy in my old gym anymore! Ah, who needs that place, anyway?

 
But, there are also people who want to have a character based off them, and for some strange reason many want to be the antagonists.

 
Well, okay then.

 
I guess it’s not all backlash, but there’s backlash! Hey, to be a writer, don’t be afraid to burn bridges. In fact, embrace the bridge burning and some ridicule now and again. Because for each of these factors, there will be some awesome people loving every word you write and taking each story to heart.

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