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Runaway Train

Complexhobag

Is Liz Larimer based off Taylor Swift? I don't know why but I feel she is for some reason.

Replies:   REP  The Outsider  Jay Cantrell
jr88

I think she's based off of an older Taylor Swift. An incredibly popular country music star whose music appeals to non-fans of country music whose image is carefully curated matches up pretty well.

Many of Jay Cantrell's stories have fictional celebrities who seem to be somewhat based off of real life celebrities. It is especially apparent in A Flawed Diamond, where many of the fictional baseball players have similar real life counterparts.

Anomandaris

I think she is. But not a reality based version of her.

The Outsider

Like the TV promos usually scream here in the States: "Ripped from the headlines!" Putting the actual celebrity in the story would create all sorts of legal headaches, I'm guessing. (I understand the law about as well as astrophysics, which is to say "not well.")

Basing characters on another person, or composites of a few, seems to be a common practice.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Complexhobag

The phrase "based off" is starting to gain some popularity. However it is a meaningless replacement for "based on", and it seems to be used by individuals who want to seem different.

"Based on" has the connotation that the topic being mentioned has a specific foundation. In this instance "based on" would mean the author used Taylor Swift as the template for his character. "Based off Taylor Swift" creates a grammatical conflict in that it can be interpreted as the character was created without a template, while at the same time it implies Taylor Swift is the template.

Replies:   richardshagrin
The Outsider

@Complexhobag

Is Liz Larimer based off Taylor Swift?


I think there's a scene in one of his other stories ("A Flawed Diamond" maybe?) where the MC is bumped from a talk show appearance because a performer felt she was snubbed by the MC in the Green Room. I don't know why – and it's likely patently unfair to Ms. Swift – but in my mind, I've always substituted that character with her.

Replies:   LonelyDad
LonelyDad

@The Outsider

I think there's a scene in one of his other stories ("A Flawed Diamond" maybe?) where the MC is bumped from a talk show appearance because a performer felt she was snubbed by the MC in the Green Room. I don't know why – and it's likely patently unfair to Ms. Swift – but in my mind, I've always substituted that character with her.

I don't know about that, but there was a scene like you describe in one of the Defenseman stories. In that case it was the Ellen show, and the offended one seemed pointed at Ms. Swift again, at least to me.

Replies:   The Outsider
The Outsider

@LonelyDad

No, that's the right story. I have what my colleagues call CRS Syndrome - "can't remember shit."

Complexhobag

Ok. I appreciate the information REP. I suppose I was just noticing how there similarities to the 2 of them. The height, the hair color, the start in country music, the age similarity, the huge popularity, and how she is kind of conservative.

I myself have thought about writing stories, and have some goof ideas, but I never get further than a few pages. I always feel I would get picked apart grammatically, and I also don't know how I would compare to some of these other great writers.

Replies:   ustourist  REP
ustourist

@Complexhobag

I myself have thought about writing stories, and have some goof (good?) ideas, but I never get further than a few pages. I always feel I would get picked apart grammatically, and I also don't know how I would compare to some of these other great writers

Don't view it in a negative way like that. Some of the writers here consistently produce better and more original stories than those on the so called 'best seller' lists, so when looking at some of the top authors here you are trying to make comparisons with excellence.
The submissions on SOL range everywhere from abysmal to excellent, and everyone has to start somewhere. Write a story, ask for help from a volunteer editor and/or beta readers to see where things could be improved, and make a submission. If you use a pen name and it is a disaster, who knows (or cares). You could always use a different name the next time if you felt it was that embarrassing. People learn best by experience and paying attention to constructive criticism - and also by ignoring destructive comments by those who are jealous.

Good Luck :0

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@Complexhobag


I myself have thought about writing stories


If you've thought about doing it, do it. There are a lot of people in this Forum who would be happy to assist you. Go to the Author's section. It has a section that lists people who will gladly assist you with editing. Shop around and find one you are comfortable with. Alternatively, find a story that you think is really well writen and contact the author and their editors for help.

Don't worry about comparing yourself to other writers. Do your own thing by expressing your ideas as a story. The first few may not be great, but so what. We have all been and still are on that learning curve. That includes the professional writers in this group.

If the first story isn't great, you are likely to get some flak from readers. Learn from the comments and do better on your next story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

@REP

"based off"

The first statue is based on a granite slab, the second is based off the slab.

Replies:   REP
REP

@richardshagrin

based off the slab.


Yeah, just dumped on the floor without a foundation to support it. Must be a second class statue, if not third class. :)

Jay Cantrell

@Complexhobag

I took "Internet Chatter" about a lot of female celebrities and wrapped it up into one character. T. Swift was one but I also used others in the composite.

All the "famous" characters in the story are loosely based on amalgams of real people.

BlackIrish thought the representation was a little too exact so I went back and blurred the characters so it wasn't horrendously obvious who I'd selected as "models."

Still, I think anybody with an interest in country music can pick them out pretty easily -- particularly because the fictional names of the secondary celebrities are pretty easy to put to real names.

Crumbly Writer

@The Outsider

Basing characters on another person, or composites of a few, seems to be a common practice.

Basing a character entirely on the public persona of a single character is considered 'bad form', though all fiction is based on composites, where authors base a character on the characteristics of many similar people, and then allowing the character to react to events based on their 'personality'.

I've never based any character on a single person (they'd be too limited if I did that), while adding multiple people offers a complexity hard to find when discussing your old Aunt Matilda.

Often, I'll base a character "largely" around a particular person, but invariably, people who know both me and the people involved (friends and family) invariable cast it as the wrong person. When I based one character on my ex-wife, my daughter and her friends assumed it was based on her, while others saw themselves in the role, since the character reflected personality traits shared by many people—which is how you create compelling characters.

Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

The submissions on SOL range everywhere from abysmal to excellent, and everyone has to start somewhere. Write a story, ask for help from a volunteer editor and/or beta readers to see where things could be improved, and make a submission. If you use a pen name and it is a disaster, who knows (or cares). You could always use a different name the next time if you felt it was that embarrassing. People learn best by experience and paying attention to constructive criticism - and also by ignoring destructive comments by those who are jealous.

When in doubt, pigeon hole a more experienced author (or two or three) and ask them what they think of your characterization. If they see holes, believe me, they'll point them out, as well as suggesting alternatives. As the author, you're under no obligation to follow their recommendations, but it provides insights into where your weaknesses are, so you can address them, and have alternatives is always better than having none! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Do your own thing by expressing your ideas as a story. The first few may not be great, but so what. We have all been and still are on that learning curve. That includes the professional writers in this group.

What's more, readers are very forgiving about new authors. They generally cut them more slack than they do more experienced authors. What's more, new authors generally build credibility as they grow in experience, whereas older authors get pigeonholed as only knowing 'one type' of story. If they try something else (like an entirely new genre) they often get severely criticized for it.

In short, new authors have a LOT more flexibility to screw up. As long as readers see potential for future growth, they'll stick with you and encourage you to continue. It's the new authors whose works are full of errors, who don't seem to care about the quality of their own work (hence little chance for future growth) that most readers abandon quickly.

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