Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction, So I Use It As Inspiration
Today’s Brew: Raspberry Chocolate Truffle
Nothing we write about is original. We just have to put an original spin on it. This includes our characters. If we’re writing about people, not aliens from another planet, we need to pull from human characteristics. The best way to do that is experience, observation, and good ol’ people watching.
In Night Moves, I based all my characters on people I knew. I might have combined characteristics of more than one person into a character, but it’s pretty close to the truth. This is true for the rock stars and the fetish model. When I brought this up in my Lydia’s Literary Lowdown interview, someone said they wouldn’t want to find out they were someone else’s “fiction.”
This took me by surprise.
How many times, as writers, have people asked you to put them in the next book? And as we all know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
People want to read real characters. I’ve lived an odd life, and I am very open minded. I figure the best way to make my characters as three dimensional as possible is to draw from the people I’ve met throughout my life. I’m very equal opportunity with my characters. I don’t judge them for what they do. If they’re bitches or assholes, it is independent of their occupation.
If you’re wondering which character caused the controversy, it was Erin, my fetish model. Erin is strong and confident about what she does. I enjoyed writing her tremendously. I’ve mentioned Erin to my friends who are fetish models, and they loved the idea. I pulled all of her exploits directly from what they do.
“What in the hell was that about? Trixie Temptation?” I practically shrieked.
“Shh!” Now it was Erin’s turn to look annoyed. “That’s my stage name.”
“I’m a traveling model.” Erin explained, looking a little nervous in her reveal. “It’s really the only way I can support myself while I’m out on the road.”
“What kind of model?” Erin was just a little bit of a thing with a nose piercing, a pink streak in her hair, and several tattoos. Pretty, definitely, but not in an America’s Next Top Model sort of way.
“I do fetish shoots. Artistic Nudes. That sort of stuff.” She said casually. She had a way of dismissing anything anyone else would consider a bombshell.
“Erin! That sounds like porn!” I had to put all my energy into keeping my voice down. It was hard. This was just too much.
“It’s not! Nobody is putting anything in me. I call the shots, and I know my limits. I probably make more money than you do. I didn’t expect you to judge me, Mel.”
Now I felt bad. “I’m not, it’s just I hate to think of you selling your body so you can support your Drake habit. I mean, this guy’s got more money than God, you’d think he wouldn’t want you doing that.”
“It was his idea.” Erin said quietly as she finished off her third cup of coffee. “And face it, Melanie, we’re all selling ourselves in some way.”
–Melanie and Erin in Night Moves