I Based Several Characters Off Real-Life People

Okay, this one’s going to burn some bridges. And speaking of burning bridges, the demolition of the Ft. Steuben Bridge a few years back is always fun to watch via YouTube, but anyway, back to today’s topic of Behind the Writing, Part III: Lord of Columbia’s Character Models.

Yes, I based many characters off real-life people, both good and bad, which as I’ve already stated, will burn some bridges.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

So, how did I decide who plays the good guys and who plays the bad guys?

With one, single exception, the people I liked played the good, and people I didn’t played the bad, and that’s not to say the good guys are winning anything fast, or even surviving this little debacle I’ve already put them through.

No, seriously, one of my best friends asked if I could base him off a bad guy, and I accepted. He’s also the one who planted the Sword idea in my mind, and yes, Sword’s capitalized, because it serves as a proper noun in Lord of Columbia.


Good Times With Element Control

My characters may or may not have the unique power of element control, similar to Avatar, The Last Airbender, but unlike Avatar, The Last Airbender (it’s so much easier to say Avatar but people tend to get the wrong idea), characters may control several elements at once. In other words, just because someone’s a natural fire-bender (which I just call fire control, or if they’ve reached a certain status, Fire Master), they have ability to control other elements, too.

Oh, and I added a few, too. Like, we have those who can control wood, blood, metal (latter two did appear in The Legend of Korra, if I’m not mistaken), and my favorite, Spirit, which plays a significant role in the whole Lord of Columbia series.



My parents asked me if there’d be any backlash if people found out who these characters were based off.

Honestly, I’d fear more backlash coming from the good characters than the bad, especially since I—well, I can’t justify spoiling it for you. Let’s just say characters on both sides of the equation may want to have a word with me once the entire trilogy is released, and I’ll be letting you all know when The Rebellion Continues…
Anyway, back to character-playing.


The How!

How did I get my characters?

Well, the good, the bad, and the ugly whether I liked or disliked them, they were the most interesting people I’d met while working my first gym job from 2012-2017, and I had a lot of people to choose from, let me tell you.

But, these cats were the most interesting. They had a specific trait I looked for.


Something eye-catching. If they were off to do something extraordinary, for instance, they were more likely to be included in the work.

A few characters were also combined as amalgams of people I’d met throughout my first gym job (Luv ya, Weirton!). Since this series is only in need of a few major and minor characters, many became fused into one.



Character creation was both the hardest and most amusing portion of my brainstorming phase. Again, like my previous article regarding Lord of Columbia’s setting, by basing my characters off others, I had a nice, little beginning from which to work. Again, as a minimalist, I wanted to focus on the main characters’ actions and keep character description rather vague.

A great way for me to do this was already have a picture of these characters in mind. For you, the reader, if you happen to pick up Lord of Columbia, you’ll find I use rather vague descriptions, so feel free and let your inner-theater come out. Picture these characters any way you want to.


I’d like to thank all my readers for coming across My Freedom Flame, please come back soon.