Breaking the Rules
One of the cardinal rules of writing fiction is that you should never base your characters on real people because when you do, they never seem interesting enough and the story often comes off as flat and boring. And I tend to agree with that. However, I have broken the rule. I have based only one of my characters on a real life person. That character is Lonnie. I have used him in a number of stories, Spot Me, Pump Me Up, An Unexpected Vintage, and most recently Core Training.
Lonnie is my workout partner and if you’d ever met him in real life, you’d truly know that in this case, the truth is stranger than fiction. Lonnie has a unique way of speaking, actually the man will say absolutely anything to just about anyone. Here’s an example from Core Training:
“Sorry,” the man responded, looking Hugh over from head to toe like he was deciding if he was going to give him shit. He must have decided that at six-four and big as hell, Hugh wasn’t someone the musclehead wanted to mess with. Lumbering into the locker room, Hugh plopped his bag on one of the benches and began tearing open lockers, trying to find an empty one.
“What crawled up your butt?” Dan opened the locker behind him, and of course it was empty.
“Nothing,” Hugh huffed, and he willed his mood to lighten. His friends didn’t need to pay just because it happened to be his birthday… alone yet again. Granted, it was his own fault. He’d spent his entire life going from man to man. “It’s fucked getting old.”
“Quit your whining,” Dan scolded lightly as he pulled off his shirt, “I’m older than you are. And it’s all a state of mind, anyway.”
Hugh half watched as Dan lowered his pants. “Then I’m eighty.”
“Hey, Birdgazers!” Lonnie called as he walked in, taking the locker next to Hugh. “You look like shit, man.”
“It’s his birthday,” Dan teased with a little too much glee.
Lonnie smacked Dan’s bare ass, the slap resounding through the room. “You were moaning like a cheap whore about your birthday a few months ago.”
Dan glared at Lonnie as he rubbed his butt, pulling on his underwear and shorts. “You’ll pay for that.”
Lonnie shot him an “ooh, I’m so scared” grin and finished changing. “You gonna work out with us or be a pussy all your life?”
Hugh looked at Lonnie, trying to see if he was serious. He was about to respond when a kid walked into their bay of lockers and undid his lock, and Hugh found his gaze pulled to a blond-headed wisp of a man who looked like a stiff breeze would blow him away.
“Hey, you listening to me or looking at dick?” Lonnie would say anything, and Hugh almost retorted, but it would only draw more attention to the fact that he was indeed looking at the young bit of eye candy instead of paying attention to what was being said.
We even have a name for Lonnie’s terms of endearment, we call them Lonnieisms and some of them to too graphic, read offensive, to include in any of my stories. The man has colorful names for every part of the anatomy, male and female and revels in spending an extra few minutes making up x-rated nursery rhymes, such as.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder where you are.
As you sit upon this rock,
While I smoke my boyfriend’s cock.
When I first created the literary version of Lonnie, I actually wrote him more true to life, but found I actually had to tone him down because the real life Lonnie was just too unbelievable, even for fiction.