Is it okay to base characters on your family members?
Well sure. You can do that. But do you want to? Do you want that aunt or uncle to recognize him or her self? It's said that most people will think the wonderful, giving, loving characters are based on them, and the ones that are mean-spirited or ugly are based on some other relative or friend.
Even if that's true, how are you going to feel when Uncle Bill believes the dumb-as-dirt guy in your book was based on your other uncle, and ten other relatives declare that it's clearly Uncle Bill? Whether it is or not!
Especially for the characters that are less than favorably described, make sure no one you know and love could recognize him or her self.
You can use family members in your book, just be selective and discerning. I come from a family of four girls. It’s a bit crazy when we get together. A past get-together of three of us confirmed that. Did I gather some ideas for future books? Oh yeah. Will I use them? No. (At least one sister is occasionally visits Straight From Hel.) Of course not.
Although ... I might use the Minnesota Gnome. And I for sure will use the younger sister's dog, Chaz, in some story. He's a laid-back, quiet as a mouse, big dog who-doesn't-take-up-much-room, with severe separation anxiety. Now that's a dog made for fiction.
And now that I think about it, the entire situation could be hyped up (not much) and be pretty hilarious. Hmm.
Okay, if any of my sisters are reading this, the character in my next manuscript is not you.
6 months ago