Thursday, January 12, 2012

Basing your characters on real people.

I think it would be impossible for someone to write a story, and not somehow have a character that wasn't influenced, even if it's just a tiny bit, by someone in their lives.

At the moment I've been working on What If. (I know!!) When my main character Gus interacts with her mother, I sat back and thought: Holy crap. I think I just wrote my relationship with my mother. To clarify, my mother and Gus's mother are really nothing alike. My mother doesn't dance naked on the first Friday of every month nor does she ride a unicycle around town when it's dumpster diving day. And my mother isn't as nutty as Gus's. She's entirely way more sarcastic too which is kinda where I got my sarcasm from.

But the conversation between my characters? Yeah, I think it may be influenced by my own life. To give you an idea of how Gus and her mother nteract with one another, here's a recent (and best by my memory) conversation between my mother and I that took place yesterday when I found out I got my externship (!!) in town at the place I wanted (!!). *high-fives self*

Me: Mom! I got the externship in town!
Mom: Oh honey, that’s great. Where is at?
Me: The Behavioral Clinic.
Mom: The what?
Me: The Behavioral Clinic.
Mom: Huh?
Me: The Be-hav-i-oral Cl-in-ic
Mom: The what clinic?
Mom: Well I couldn’t hear you.
Me: Obviously.
Mom: Don’t get hateful!
Me: Ohmygosh.
Mom: Where is at?
Me: Up by Family Pharmacy.
Mom: Our doctor’s office?
Me: No, the other building.
Mom: Ohhh okay. Now that’s not the place you didn’t want to go to, is it?
Me: No, because I have no idea what place I didn’t want to go to is at. This was the only place I had planned on really going to.
Mom: Well what about that place your friend ended up going to and hated?
Me: The physical therapy place?
Mom: Yeah. Is that where you’re going?
Me: No, mother. I’m going to the Behavioral Clinic.
Mom: The what?
Me: *bangs head against steering wheel* The Behavioral Clinic. It’s through OMC which is out of West Plains.
Mom: Oh, you’re going to have to drive all the way down there for your externship? I thought you said they’d place you here in town.
Mom: Why do you keep getting hateful?
Me: For the love of - Mom, just know I am doing my externship in town, and I’m happy about it!
Mom: Well you sure don’t sound that happy.

*later that night when I stop by my parents’ house to show off my snazzy new intern name badge*

Mom: Does that place have good insurance?
Me: I don’t know.
Mom: You should have asked.
Me: It’s an externship. They don’t give out insurances on those things.
Mom: Well, the lady at the office told me they didn’t have good insurance.
Me: Since when did you go to that place?
Mom: When I went to our doctor.
Me: *stares at her blankly*
Mom: You said it was by Family Pharmacy. That’s our doctor’s office.
Me: No. That isn’t where I’m going. It’s a totally separate building. *deep breath* You know what? Nevermind.
Dad: Where are you going again?
Me: Mars. I am going to Mars.

And Mom, if by some weird chance you're reading this post, just know that I love you. I hope you never change your never-listening ways. No seriously. You are the best inspiration sometimes because of it.


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