There’s a meme I see frequently about writers putting people they know or see into the story.
This is 100% truth.
A certain person at the grocery might give me that, “Ah-ha!” moment in how a character looks. I may or may not track that person through the aisles trying to commit them to memory.
People I know are also inspiration for characters. Maybe I’ll name a character after someone, or model a character after things people do and say.
I, personally, don’t usually look to kill someone off, but it can happen on occasion. And it’s not because I dislike them, it’s just that, well, the character dies. I can’t help it.
I have two friends who told me recently they would be looking for their names in the next book my publisher picks up. (I’m so glad they have such faith in my writing!) So I figured I would write them in. I used one’s first name and the other’s last name as a small character who is friends with one of my main characters (MCs).
I also used my best friend’s maiden name as the name of a doctor in this new piece.
So, if you happen to know a writer, and they’re staring you down, they might be figuring out how you fit into their next book.