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I have noticed recently that every conversation I have (particularly with my family) is proving to be a direct source of inspiration especially in creating dialogue for my novel.

I have also found that the line between the “real” me and the fictional version of myself that is being poured into the book is becoming increasingly blurred. On the one hand this is good because situations that could have been quite stressful are just being processed and then used as the basis for dialogue in my story. On the other hand is this a good thing. Do I need to emotionally engage more with the real situation unfolding before me?

My novel is not about my family but my experiences and the personalities I have encountered within my family have certainly informed some of the characterisations. I am wondering if this could be problematic if people decide they recognise themselves within my characters. Do the characters we create inevitably start out based on people we know or feelings and experiences we have had. What do you do if people see things within characters that they view as a criticism of themselves?

I would never want to hurt anyone or have them think I have portrayed them in an unkind way. My characters are not real people, they are the amalgamation of a number of feelings and experiences I have had and they contain elements of people I have met. My novel is turning out to be intensely personal, a lot more so than I had initially planned but it is ultimately just a story, a good one I hope, but still just a work of fiction.

I am worried that some people may not view it this way as they cannot understand the idea of creating a fictional person and a fictional narrative that may have been based on a real life event. I think the very premise of my novel will lead some people to assume that certain things or reactions are based upon them but I have just taken an event in my life as a starting point to explore certain themes and fantastical possibilities but I still fear recriminations. I am 10,000 words into the story now so it is too late to change any major details, I have to finish this journey and hope everything works out for the best.

What does everyone else think. Is there a line between fact and fiction that should never be crossed?

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