Last week I talked a lot about the novel I wrote with a friend during high school. Here is the part I didn’t tell you:
We were best friends, brought together by our love for writing. We based our novel on our friendship, and our lives (with some decidedly fantastic and fictional elements). In our story, the two best friends fought for most of the story (that was the conflict, or part of it). And then we started fighting. We took on the roles of our characters and internalized their conflict. We made something fictional into something real. And our friendship broke.
There are dangers to basing a story, or characters, or situations on real life. Think about all the memes that have writers threatening to kill off characters based on people that bother them while writing. What if that person is you brother or sister? What if that person is your significant other? Think about the damage that can do to a relationship. Think about how uncomfortable someone could be if they realize that a conversation you had with them is now in print.
Of course, there are many people who would not be bothered by this, but many are bothered by it.
Do you think it is acceptable to base stories, characters, or situations on real life? Why or why not?
Take care, fellow travelers.