Real people for characters?

Someone asked me this the other day. Well the answer is both yes and no. Yes, I did base a Flash Fiction story on a very irritating real person and no, I would not put a real person into a book. It wouldn’t work as the personality would be already established, with all the little quirks, wants, wishes and needs. It would be like taking a bucket of water out of a rushing mountain stream and letting it sit there, trapped and stagnating. There is a lot of difference between a story of five hundred words and one of 100k+.

While my book characters are entirely fictitious, they then to spring to life fully formed, with strong personalities of their own in the world they inhabit. I couldn’t inflict artificial restraints on these free spirits in the form of an artificial personae of a real person grafted onto them. The first thing that comes to my mind is the resulting amalgams would be boring and predictable. Eeeew.

However, if a film ever got made of my Shadow books then I know which actor I would like to play Arthur. Don’t know his name, but he is perfect. Arthur

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