Pen & Ink

Sharing Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tutorials

Using Real-Life People as Characters in your Story

I recently read a book called Gulliver Wimple and the Gems of Dara Mhor by Gary Bower (who, by the way, lives here in Michigan). I highly recommend the book, and to read more about it, you can visit my Book Recommendations post.


Gary Bower actually uses a very interesting technique to write this book: he uses the looks and some personalities of real-life people as models for his characters. I have a friend who is a model for a character in the book, so that’s how I know about this.

Before now, I had never really heard of using real people in books. I had heard of eavesdropping on conversations to get ideas on the flow of dialogue in a story, but other than that, this approach to writing is new to me. To test it out, I’ve decided to include a few of my friends in the second book in my Daughters of the Sea series (yes, I have started it, as I’m still waiting for my parents to finish editing the first one). So far it’s working!

So the question is: how do you go about copying people into your book? Well, first of all, decide if you are copying just looks, just personality, or both. If you’re doing looks, make sure to study the looks of the person you’re copying carefully. It is also good to include detailed descriptions and illustrations, if possible. If you’re doing personality, then it would probably be good to ask the person you’re copying what they would do when in certain situations in your book, or just pay close attention to how they react to things and people.

Quick side note: the only downside to using real-life people in your book is that you will have to write about their flaws, and if you make their character do something bad, then it could hurt the person’s feelings. It’s okay to have some flaws included in the character’s personality, but just make sure you don’t do anything too drastic that would make someone feel bad.

Well, I think that’s all I have to say. 😊 I just wanted to share some quick writing advice. Have a good week everyone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 responses to “Using Real-Life People as Characters in your Story”

  1. […] The goal in creating distinct character voices is to make those characters seem real so they can come alive in your readers’ minds. If you want your characters to be realistic, then model them after real-life people. […]

  2. […] Author: Gary Bower Reading Level: 3rd grade+ Age Recommendation: 9+ Genres: Allegory, Action/Adventure, Christian, Drama Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gulliver Wimple and the Gems of Dara Mhor is a Christian allegory about teenagers who discover the truths of the book of Proverbs in the Bible through the world of Dara Mhor. It is similar to The Prince Warriors Series by Priscilla Shirer which I mentioned later in this post. Only the first book in the series has been released so far, but I can’t wait to read the other books! I also wrote a blog post about an interesting technique used to write this book, so make sure to check that out here. […]