To Be Real or Not Too Real . . .

Today, I'm joining a group of writer friends for a
(It's like a progressive meal where you go from house to house,
only we're going from blog to blog.)

Each of us asked a question,
and the answers to the questions will be posted
on our own website.
(click on their name below
see the linky list at the bottom.)

I asked -

"Do you prefer to write about actual people and places
(even in fictional stories)
or do you prefer creating your own worlds and characters?

ME: I like to use real places (including a map). My characters are usually based on real people. It helps me to visualize how that character will react to certain situations.

Sharon Srock: Fictional all the way. I hope no one I know ever has to go through some of the situations that my characters endure.

Diane Brandmeyer: I find it safer to write fictional characters. I used real life people in "We're Not Blended, We're Pureed - A Surivor's Guide to Blended Families" because they were my family. Kind of hard to make up stuff about people who know you.

Valerie Comer: So far, I've mostly written fictional characters AND setting, but my novella for Barbour required a real setting in modern times. It was more fun to research and get it right than I thought it would be. But characters? While I'll occasionally mention a famous or real person, I think it's much safer to make them all up. Then no one I know can scream or gloat over what 'their character' did or said in my story.

Sherri Johnson: I often say that before I could write a novel based on real life, everyone in my family would have to be in Heaven first. :)

Joanne Sher : If a real-life character fascinates me, I DEFINITELY want to write about that person (I have one of those on the back burner, and my current WIP has "real people" in them). But creating characters - allowing them to become mine completely, is also wonderful.

Linda Carlblom : I do both. Sometimes I have a real person in mind as I write a fictional character. I use some of their characteristics, attitudes, etc. but always change enough so they wouldn't be identifiable. I like to use a real-life general setting, like perhaps a particular state, but then make up a town within it. That way I don't have to get every storefront or street correct.

Donna Winters : Most often I write fictional characters in true historical settings, and sometimes I include real personages from those locales to lend authenticity as very minor characters (always depicted honestly and in a good light). I'd prefer to write completely fictional settings and characters but I became known for the real settings so stayed with it in order not to disappoint readers.

Sharon Hoover : Wow...great question! I prefer creating my own worlds and characters. When I write about actual people I worry that I'll give away too much of their own story.

Patty Wysong : I love mixing them--it gives me the framework of what's existing and ideas peculiar to that region yet gives me the freedom to tweak as I need or want. It lets me put my own spin on things which is important because I tend to be a free spirit. The series I'm working on now is set in Heritage, Illinois--a fictional town that is a lot like the towns right around where I live. Places that I'm familiar with, in landscape and weather I experience every day but the freedom to create as I want. It's a good deal that works well for me--but then again, I never worried when my kids colored trees purple and grass orange. Maybe in their world, on that day, that's how it was. ;-)

Janet Sketchley : Usually I do set stories in real places and use some details to anchor them, but I'm not a setting-focused writer. I've written a few imagined settings including another planet or two. My characters aren't based on real people, although I'm sure traits creep in--especially mine.I think I'd rather invent people and settings myself. Making stuff up is more fun than research! Although the end result still has to feel real.

Kristi Peifer : I enjoy writing fictional feelings from historical figures. What might so-and-so have thought when such-and-such happened? There are so many possibilities!

Christina Rich : I definitely like to create my own people and places but they are always inspired by real people and places.

This is one way to get our exercise!
I hope you had fun. I did!


Patty Wysong said...

So fun! It's so interesting to see the variances and how we each do it. So cool, Vonnie! =]


Christina said...

A lot of fun. I had some issues getting my blog published. But this is fun! I like seeing all the answers.

Great Lakes Romances said...

Thanks for your question and the answers. Blessings!
Donna Winters

Audra Silva said...

So far, I tend to lean toward my own characters and settings. I imagine I'll end up doing a mix.

Sharon said...

Thanks for posting such an interesting question
Sharon Srock


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