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Is it ok to base some of your villains looks on real bad people you know personally?

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Ursa major

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No-one is denying you anything, just advising you that what you want to do may not, for a number of different reasons, be the best course of action for you to take.
 

Brian G Turner

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I think you're missing the point - writers are encouraged to use inspiration from experiences and people they know to write richer characters. However, if you really want to very specifically describe a very specific character in a very specific way after someone you knew, then not only are you in danger of limiting your creativity, you're also inviting a defamation case if your motivations ever became public. This isn't about protecting that person, this is about common-sense protection for the writer - but if you really want to write something in a particular way, no one is going to stop you. :)
 

Brian G Turner

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No-one is denying you anything, just advising you that what you want to do may not, for a number of different reasons, be the best course of action for you to take.
Indeed @Reverent33345 - you asked for advice, and you've got it from multiple directions. Whether you accept or reject that advice is entirely up to you. :)
 

The Judge

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Reverent, I really think you need to stop and take a deep breath. All your posts show a great rushing out of words, and taken as a whole they rather suggest someone caught up in a great turmoil of emotion, which is perhaps understandable, but which isn't helping anyone, not us in trying to help you, or you in trying to understand what we are telling you.

See I think I may have explained this the wrong way why some are already assuming I will be causing some type of libel onto somebody else
At the beginning, yes there were misunderstandings of what you intended but you've made it very clear now that you don't intend to use this man's name and specific details of his appearance and conduct. There's therefore no need to belabour this point further, nor to expand on what he has done.

HOW can I write this without it being so obvious. I get the risk involved with doing this and I get you and Teresa explained to me why this would be wrong in many ways, the point is if I wanted to, what are ways it would not be as risky?
As far as the risk of libel is concerned, I told you this in my first post, namely: My advice, keep the people you dislike in mind when writing the characters, but ... make very sure that you don't describe them in specific detail, plus change their personalities sufficiently that they're not recognised by themselves or by others who might tell them. You've now confirmed this is what you intend, so you've reduced the risk as far as you can.

I'm asking if I choose to go through with this, how could I make it so he's not a cardboard villain but still an evil bad guy but not in a cliche way. How can I? ... how can I write this character so it doesn't seem too much like a cardboard image? Without makng him a likable villain?
In the same way that you write any other character who will be appearing in your story -- and as I said earlier, by giving them hopes and fears, good points and bad points. Some people create detailed biographies for their characters, showing what they've done to date. Some complete character questionnaires of likes, dislikes, favourite foods etc. Some interview their characters, asking questions about what they've done. Some of us just sit down and write and let them develop as they act and speak. The important thing is to treat all your characters as real people who do things for a reason -- and it's your job as a writer to know what that reason is. That holds good for all of your characters -- after all, a hero who is a hero just because is as flat and uninteresting as a baddie who is a baddie just because.

As for making a villain likeable, I really can't see that is something that can happen while your back is turned, as it were, so I wouldn't worry about it.

We've suggested that it might be hard for you to write your baddie as a three dimensional character because you have been too badly injured by the man on whom you are basing him, and therefore you cannot get sufficient objectivity in your writing. To be frank, this is borne out by some of the language you've used in your posts:
And without telling me ... "pedophiles sexual abusers and violent bausers have feelings too"
"please think about this man and how you might hurt him"
And telling me I should feel for this monster in real life that maybe he didn't mean to do these horrible things he's done or I could of misunderstood him as a child growing up
No one here has said anything of the kind. No one is making excuses for your abuser. The fact that you seem to have interpreted remarks here as saying these things does suggest to me that (a) you're not reading the posts carefully and/or (b) you are so understandably angry at what this man has done to you that you see any attempt at understanding why a fictional baddie does something as somehow getting this man off the hook for his crimes. The character you create has to be separate from this man, even if you use him as inspiration. Unless and until you separate them in your own mind, you won't be able to write the character as a real person.

But from what it seems maybe this site may not be the best place to discuss or present my writings, maybe I'm just not at the right place,
This is an ideal place to get help and advice for your writing. But it's a two-way street. You have to be prepared to listen as well as to question.
 

Reverent33345

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However, if you really want to very specifically describe a very specific character in a very specific way after someone you knew, then not only are you in danger of limiting your creativity, you're also inviting a defamation case if your motivations ever became public.
I think there is a slight misunderstanding. I know from my beginning post it may appear this way. But if you read through the rest of my posts, you'll know right away that is not my intent at all. And I clearly want to avoid doing that which is why I would be using a different name, story, location, even altering the looks a bit, speech and even slightly different personality. Only some slight resemblance's to his features and mentality way of thinking would share anything in common ..by coincidence of course.

"The Judge, post: 2310101, member: 22627"]
Reverent, I really think you need to stop and take a deep breath. All your posts show a great rushing out of words, and taken as a whole they rather suggest someone caught up in a great turmoil of emotion, which is perhaps understandable, but which isn't helping anyone, not us in trying to help you, or you in trying to understand what we are telling you.
I understand that and I apologize. I think due to there being some misunderstandings and comments saying, "I should just call the police" or "how do you know this person in real life is as bad as you say..maybe he's not such a bad guy as I think" is probably what set me off. I understand writing the characters for my own protection and not to deter my writings and creativity is understandable.

I just think just from the comments alone, such as telling me to go run to the police, (which I haved in the past and hasn't resolved much results) or "you don't know this man well enough to think of him as a bad guy cause it's too good to be true" or "he probably didn't mean it" was sort of discouraging to me and would probably be taken as in insult to anyone who's had this experience as in general. It kind of made me feel that there are not many writers on here who have had the same or almost similar experience of being absurd, sexually, physically, verbally and in some cases which is statutory rape. Because in these situations, especially if it's from the past long ago, the police can not always do anything about it and I would not question for a second that it was not done intentionally or 'accidentally" as a person of this caliber (and still abusive to people physically and verbally) I would not take as they have some goodness within them, a part of me can forgive it from the past but a part of me will never say "deep down this man is a true saint" that is what kinda it a soft spot, and I understand as not many people have been through this experience nor have been a male child sexual victim as often so it is hard to relate to this subject, especially when it comes to writing.

At the beginning, yes there were misunderstandings of what you intended but you've made it very clear now that you don't intend to use this man's name and specific details of his appearance and conduct. There's therefore no need to belabour this point further, nor to expand on what he has done.
Correct which I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

As far as the risk of libel is concerned, I told you this in my first post, namely: My advice, keep the people you dislike in mind when writing the characters, but ... make very sure that you don't describe them in specific detail, plus change their personalities sufficiently that they're not recognised by themselves or by others who might tell them. You've now confirmed this is what you intend, so you've reduced the risk as far as you can.
which I'll do. Though I think if I change the personality, I could still have him with bad intentions but maybe with a didffenret speech like an accent? Different attitude, but still in the wrong for what he is doing? so it's not so obvious and connects to the same person.

In the same way that you write any other character who will be appearing in your story -- and as I said earlier, by giving them hopes and fears, good points and bad points. Some people create detailed biographies for their characters, showing what they've done to date. Some complete character questionnaires of likes, dislikes, favourite foods etc. Some interview their characters, asking questions about what they've done. Some of us just sit down and write and let them develop as they act and speak. The important thing is to treat all your characters as real people who do things for a reason -- and it's your job as a writer to know what that reason is. That holds good for all of your characters -- after all, a hero who is a hero just because is as flat and uninteresting as a baddie who is a baddie just because.
Ok got it. Just that does he have to have a sad dramatic past that turned him into the corrupt being he is now? Or could it be he trived for power and figured this would be the best way to do so?

As for making a villain likeable, I really can't see that is something that can happen while your back is turned, as it were, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Ok good.

We've suggested that it might be hard for you to write your baddie as a three dimensional character because you have been too badly injured by the man on whom you are basing him, and therefore you cannot get sufficient objectivity in your writing. To be frank, this is borne out by some of the language you've used in your posts:
Ok I apologize for that. I think the pat of me needing to feel sorry for this man as if he was the victim and go calling the cops if it bothers me so much is what got to me, I'll definitely reread my posts, sorry for that.[/QUOTE]
 

dask

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I mean to base villains on actual people that you knew in your own life personally, not ones that are known throughout the world or by others. I'm talking more just basing their appearances on them. Their personalities and attitudes could still be villainous and hateful but I would make that up more so it's not directly relevant that exact person in real life just to be a little more creative and not so obvious. And this goes for any forms of media too like books, novellas, graphic novels, comics, etc.

Is any of this ok?
Sounds okay to me. If I were a writer I'd do it.
 

Reverent33345

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Sounds okay to me. If I were a writer I'd do it.
I would like to. But from most of the comments on here it seems like many think it would be a bad idea because I might be judging this person, making him out to be a monster or more of a bad guy than he is in real life or that I don't know the real him or what he went through or going through in life. Funny thing is I don't even intend to make him in my story to be the monster he is and was in real life, as much as me and other kids growing up who knew him pretty well too.

So instead of him saying and doing things like he said and did in real life, like screaming and cursing the M word, A word, B word and C word over and over or how he would love to slap me and other children or jokingly laugh about sticking his hands up my "insert profane language here" while grabbing me and others, while laughing or screaming YOU PIECE OF... I would tame it down and have him more cool and collected and more manipulative and does things very secretively with a soothing voice and giving him a made up accent with different hairstyle, who appears very convincing that he's a good guy to others and skilled at what he does and would barely even curse. Not the guy in cape with a menacing Mwhahahaha maniac laugh that says "I love being evil!" who curses profanity every 5 seconds and touches kids inappropriately while laughing and grabbing them in areas with a maniac laughing voice or cursing at young women if they won't have sex with him means their just a stupid h* like he did for real. I would like to actually include stuff like that but I know it would be a bad idea and too revealing. Instead I would give him depth. He'd be his own character rather than some cartoonish villain. Think Neegan and maybe a little bit of Jeffroy Batharon how they know how to manipulate, act bad and lead the way but be cool sometimes in a sinister way.

But of course let's say this works out and my story gets published and people actually love it and even enjoy the villain character and the hero character, then they sit me in an interview one day and say "so how did you come up with such an interesting storyline and villain?" and they ask me "was he inspired by someone you knew in real life?" and after that I pretty much have to answer or make up a lie and say I just thought of it at the top of my head, but surely I'd be screwed and I'd have to say yes like many writers have about how they got their inspiration for their characters and villains and then have to mention my abusive past which led to it and say that he was actually inspired by a man named so and so who sexaully and physically abused me in the past. Which then I'd probably have to cancel my writings in case him or his lowlife supporting friends, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, kids or wife get news of this, so either way I pretty much have zero shot at this.
 
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dask

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Nobody needs to know where you get your ideas from. That's your business. Someone gets mad, let them write their own stories. Write what you want.
 

Reverent33345

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Nobody needs to know where you get your ideas from. That's your business. Someone gets mad, let them write their own stories. Write what you want.
If that's true, then hopefully I should be good on this. And yeah it's really none of other peoples business for how I got my inspiration for my heroes or villains. How did other writers handle it though? And why did some of them mention how they got their inspirations for their characters in real life? Like why did J.K Rowling admit that Severus Snape was based off of her mean professor from school? And does that make it bad if he knew about it?
 

dask

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Give few interviews, say little if anything about yourself. Worked well for Jack Vance, a genuine great.
 

Reverent33345

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Well said. Jack Vance is also a great example.

Here's something I found interesting before.

She's one of the writers who actually inspired me to want to use some my life experiences into my writings.


So JK Rowling's father, family, her unpleasant bad teacher, the antagonists and her childhood were all used for inspiration for creating the Harry Potter series and even Harry Potter himself was based on her part of growing up which is interesting. If authors are able to create some of their own life experiences, good or bad, into fantasy and science fiction novels, then I see no reason why I couldn't do the same. Even while being told I'm making a bad person look bad in real life. If someone has a problem with it and accuses me of doing something libel, then hopefully by then I would have enough money and they can speak to my lawyer about if it really hurts their feelings so much.
 
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Dave

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So JK Rowling's father, family, her unpleasant bad teacher, the antagonists and her childhood were all used for inspiration for creating the Harry Potter series and even Harry Potter himself was based on her part of growing up which is interesting.
Any writer writes best about things they know about themselves. When writing about feelings and motivations then you can only write about them if you have experienced them yourself, or, you do a lot of research by speaking to other people who have experienced them. That's my own opinion, but unless you have walked in someone else's shoes it is not going to seem convincing.

You asked how you could make your characters three-dimensional and not cardboard cutouts. You asked if it was okay to place the likeness of a real person in your story. You were given some excellent advice on both, but you don't need to take it. I would carefully consider the legal advice though as JKR has not defamed her father or her teachers in her books, so it isn't relevant.
 
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