Posted on August 25, 2021 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Authors have long used their real lives as inspiration for fiction — and weighed the pros and cons of doing so.

The risk that people might recognize themselves in fiction was recently highlighted by two essays from women whose real-life experiences popped up in pop culture.

(For those curious, we’re talking about the 2017 short story “Cat Person” and the new movie Stillwater.)

David Corbett has a different sort of cautionary tale to offer, though.

He compares the process of writing a character based on a person to the experience of attending a high school reunion.

That is, you might think you know the character (or person) … but they can certainly surprise you with a twist.

Read Corbett’s thoughts on writing characters based on people you know at Writer Unboxed.

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