Friday, April 13, 2012

Kidnapping--and This Time, it's Legal

Put down the rope and chloroform--kidnapping is more of a colorful turn of phrase here. Seriously--don't go out and nab anyone to help you practice sex positions for your new story...unless they're willing, of course...

I digress. I may have posted about this before, but it strikes me especially today (there's an anecdote about it, darlings. Don't worry.). It's perfectly all right to kidnap people you come across throughout your life. Whether it be from a commercial, reality TV, movies, book covers, billboards, or in Wal-Mart, shopping for fish sticks, try and pay attention to people that, shall we say, do it for you. if you happen to know their names, I might suggest changing their names, but there's no law saying you can't base a character off of a random passerby or acquaintance.

Please note that it's not always the best idea to go with celebrities or other public figures. Too easy to make those connections you're trying to avoid, particularly if you try to make a body double. But life itself is full of enough eye candy to keep anyone fat (Did you enjoy that double entendre? I didn't intend it, but it still showed up. Lovely, no?).

There are also some things to warn against, the first being that reality isn't quite so spectacular as we tend to remember it. Don't kill yourself over the details of one person in particular--they're most likely not as good-looking as you've made them out to be in your memory. We have a tendency to remember things we like in a favorable light. If you don't believe me, find your yearbook and think about your high school crush. Then look at the picture--not quite as pretty, no?

There's also the dangers of using young-looking inspiration. Sometimes, you just can't find the right place to prove that your characters are of legal age. You could find the most gorgeous creature ever, but, if in your description, they look like a fifteen year old...danger, Will Robinson! But we're writers...we can take creative license with...our imaginations.

And, if you're like me, you might find your particular choice of kidnapping victim lackluster on the page. Sometimes it simply doesn't translate, but more often than not it's some human error on the part of the author. Try introducing things about them in--do they have a dog? Is that what makes them so sexy? Or was it the fact that they were behind a camera? Or are they only good-looking in some level of undress? A little thought can go a fair bit...

Off on a kidnapping spree, perhaps,
Raven