It's my policy not to put people I know into my books. Some days, I regret this policy. For example, my best friend married this great guy who is SCREAMING to be in a comedy book. He's tall, bald, and can channel the spirit of Jon Lovitz, which is even more impressive when you consider that Lovitz is still alive.
That's a really cool idea for a book: an impressionist who actually channels spirits. One minute, you're a famous Hollywood actor, sitting at the dinner table and eating bean sprouts off five million dollar plates because that's the only way you're going to make bean sprouts remotely palatable, and the next minute, you're looking out of the eyes of Mr. Bald and your voice is coming out of his mouth.
Of course, that's kind of like Being John Malkovich, isn't it? Which is sheer genius if you haven't seen it.
Anyway, Mr. Bald recently told me a story about how his mother called to tell him that her horse died and he felt really bad because he couldn't stop giggling. Which sounds really callous of him, except that the horse was standing in the middle of the woods, and it got struck by lightning. Not the trees. The horse.
Which goes to show you: if you're stuck in a thunderstorm, don't hide under a horse.
Now how can I resist putting that into a book? But then I'd want to take the character based on Mr. Bald (let's call him Mr. Hairy), and I'd want to turn him into a zombie parrot or drop him into a tank full of mutant bilingual piranha. I think he might take the piranha personally.
Which makes me think of the guys I went to college with, who paid off their student loans with piranha betting. They put beer in the piranha tank and then took bets on which drunk piranha would actually manage to catch one of the feeder fish. At the time, I found this funny. And again, it's screaming to be put into a book. But the good news is that I don't know those guys any more, so if I feed their characters to to a tank of mutant bilingual piranha, they won't know that they ought to be offended.
Addendum: BTW, I forgot to mention that I have been the victim of a Blogger curse the past couple of days, and my comments have only been working sporadically. I sacrificed two piece of white bread to Ramrod this morning and hopefully all is well again. Sorry. (Not like I think commenting on my blog is the highlight of your day or something.)
I used to have a boss who was really fussy anytime someone would come in to the office for a meeting. He'd go out to the lobby and arrange all the magazines just so. I keep trying to find a story to put him into (preferably one where he gets dismembered or something, because I loathed him), but every time I try, it sounds like I made him up to be funny. Go figure.
My first book has a character based very heavily on my previous boss. She once got her pashmina caught in the vending machine. How could I NOT write about her?
So I was gonna do a really good impression of Capt. Jack Sparrow in your comment section here, but it just doesn't come across in text.
Commenting on Blogger has been a bizarre mystery these past days.
I hope your sacrifice works!
I think Ramrod really wants a Pop Tart!
Yeah, what's up with the blogger curse? I've had the same issue. Ramrod likes white bread, eh?
My first short story I ever wrote and finished included four of my best friends. Granted this was written in grade school, but it actually wasn't too shabby. :) It was a halloween story and I killed us all. They didn't take offense because then I brought us back as ghosts. It probably helped that I killed myself too.
I had the same curse going on in my blog. So I went to my settings and changed my comments to "pop up" mode and that seemed to work.
p.s. If you just change some character details no one will ever know! If you don't use people you know as inspiration, you're only hurting yourself. Real people are nutts and make great subjects for modeling characters. Just change enough so they won't know for sure and they can't sue you. ;0)
KC: I run into the same problem. The people I know are three times wackier than anything I could ever make up. Sad but ultimately true.
Vivi: Pashmina caught in vending machine. Now THAT takes talent.
BPV: I think you're right. It's not entirely the same without the eye rolling and freaky hand gestures.
PJ: Hasn't it? And it's intermittent, which really confuses me.
Kelly: I've got some chocolate ones here just in case. For the times when I need a really BIG sacrifice.
Aaron: Ramrod seems to like white bread, as evidenced by the fact that it stole one of my crusts this morning.
Tiny T: When I was in high school, one of my friends wrote a book in which I led the rebel alliance against alien forces. I even got to fly a jet plane. It was tres cool. ;)
Christy: Thanks, I'll definitely try that Blogger thing. And yeah, I know what you mean, but all of my friends are already rabidly reading to see if they can identify themselves, and it's also a well known fact that my books are populated with a high proportion of my ex boyfriends. I'm not sure I want to push my luck. ;)
I liked Being John Malkovich - cool movie.
I can't believe you don't put people you know in your stories. Not just a little? Composites? Nothing?
I put in real aspects or real character traits or real situations into my books, but not 100% real people. Too risky. Oh the tales I could tell. I'm talking "You'll have to drop out of the race" juicy.
Thanks to you I can only think in Halloween mix-n-matches now. Jon Lovits being channeled is just like another mix-n-match in my mind.
You'ver ruined me Carrie! I'm driving down the road thinking "policeman-smurf . . . etc."
go to the grocery store thinking "Terminator-Snow White . . . etc)
And in target I went to the costume section not to buy a costume, but to see what kind of possibilities I might be missing!
Remember your post about giving people fettishes? Well.. . you've given me one. It is it a super power or are you a fettish fairy? ohh! Ohhh! There's another mix-n-match, you're the Super Fettish Fairy. Instead of wings you have a cape and a big S sown on the front of your sprarkling gown.
~sigh~ Am I destined to think of mix-n-matches for the rest of my life?
Ya so what is with the blogger curse?? I think BPV infected us all.
i wanted to comment that Whos' Line is like my fav show! Only I don't see it on anymore.
Hey thanks for stopping by!
I think you should TOTALLY put him in your book. Just use the general idea and change it up a bit, or ask him if you can write a character loosely based on him, then don't make it a mass murderer, unless he would like that sort of thing.
Poor Horse! Made me snarf though.
adrienne: Not people I currently know. People I used to know, absolutely. But characters in my books tend to have their fingers stolen or speared with mirrors etched with naked women on them. Man, what do I have against fingers?
KM: I do similar things, use the situation but not the person. Because for me, using the person is really inviting them to be mad at me for all eternity because of the wonky things I did to them.
Christy: If I wasn't going trick-or-treating with my five-year-old, I would totally be the fetish fairy. My daughters are being pajama fairies, so we could be a whole happy fairy family. Snarf.
Elizabeth: Thanks right back atcha. And I love Whose Line. Whoever took it off the air sucks rocks.
sruble: You know, knowing his sense of humor, he would probably like it.
Mr. Bald says the mass murder character is ok as long as I can kill people as Jon Lovitz on an electric horse.
But if you're Jon Lovitz, then you wouldn't be you. That sprains my reality.
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