Wednesday, March 16, 2011

RTW: Yes, You're In My Book

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs.

You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:

Who have you written into a book? Be honest.

It could be someone that just inspired one specific trait in a character. Maybe your MC's ex has a weird obsession with anime, kind of like a certain ex of yours. Or maybe the evil witch wreaking havoc on your other characters is straight-up Mrs. Hawkins, your 3rd grade math teacher. Confession time – who's in your book?

Soooo - the post I should absolutely not write, but I'm way too daring to resist.

Here goes...

Most of you know I'm a high school teacher and my students are my daily muse. And while many of my students inspire a name or a character quirk, there's one who could trade places with one of my characters. And - shocker - I wrote the story before I met the student.

I won't reveal the student, but I will tell you who he inspires...

Brent Wilcher.

Ah - Brent Wilcher aka The Incredible Hormone. The boy who hits on anything with shaved legs and totures my mc on a daily basis.

Here's a partial descrip from my superhero novel.

Puberty could barely account for the six inches of height and seventy pounds of muscle Brent put on over the past few months, strength and pounds earning him a starting job on both sides of the line. And what a job: quickly turning every coach’s head as he cracked those of opposing teams, bulldozing two or three defenders on offense, and leading the team in tackles, forced fumbles, blocked punts, well, just about every defensive statistic I wrote down each week.

Weird. Up until last April, Brent had been as much of a toss off in the reject department as Mark and me. And the three of us hung out all the time until his stomach shifted to his chest and Coach Dennings noticed his football expertise.

Brent’s popularity grew with his new chums on the football team which meant our friendship disappeared off the planet. In fact, he viciously went out of his way to antagonize us. Stupid stuff, really. Like pulling a chair out from under me in the middle of Calculus or switching vials for an experiment gone wrong for Mark in AP Chem. Brent’s appearance may have resembled Superman, but his mind—totally Lex Luthor.

My real-life Brent Wilcher has since graduated, but he serves continued inspiration for Brent's character in the sequel.

So - how about YOU, my writer friends? What real life frenemy's hiding out in your stories?


  1. One of the supporting characters in my MS is an old general who once upon a time was a military genius, but who has since lost it, but still acts likes he knows what he's doing. He's basically a giant blowhard, dangerous in what he thinks he knows. In the midst of writing this book, I changed jobs and my boss at the new job...well, let's just say he served as inspiration.

  2. Love that Brent came along before the actual student he mirrors. :) He sounds quite intriguing and your story sounds very cool!

  3. I've got one, and it's a student, too. One of my villains. This student was just mean--she could take the most innocuous statement and turn it into an insult. Same as the character.

    The girl graduated a while back, so I no longer have to deal with her. (Yeah!)

  4. oooh... very funny. Sounds like quite a character!

  5. I love that description of Brent, and how crazy that you wrote him before you met the student that personified him!

  6. Omg - that is so funny - no you did not over share - that story is great!

  7. Sounds really interesting! I teach, too, but the children in my class are too young to base characters on :)

  8. That's awesome! I haven't written a character after one specific person, but I do take little things from a lot of people I meet :)

  9. Brent definitely sounds like a character though I want to know if he has any remorse over his sudden reversal of his treatment of his ex-friends. I guess it's good writing if I'm trying to empathise with him haha.
    - Sophia.

  10. "The Incredible Hormone." OMG, this had me on the floor.

  11. I am guilty, guilty, guilty. I'm so bad I sometimes don't even change the characters name :)

  12. LOL, I've taken traits of everyone I know and then make Frankenstein characters!

    And I love how you get inspired! Sometimes I wish I would teach, too! :D


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