Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hiding behind your characters...

So, time to 'fess up - have you ever hidden behind your characters?

You know what I mean...given them a quirk or a hobby or an obsession that you secretly have too? Maybe you gave your characters a dream or goal or desire that YOU actually have, but are scared to embrace, so just you passed it over to them instead...

We're all guilty of it :)

If you're brave, go ahead and share an example in the comments!

I'll go first - I've definitely done this before! Guilty as charged. On the serious side, I'm guilty of doing this with secret fears of my Love Inspired novel FIREMAN DAD. And on the lighter side, I totally did this in ADDISON BLAKELY, CONFESSIONS OF A PK, where I gave Addison a lot of my own quirks and preferences, regarding mochas and sprinkles and such ;)

I think it can be healthy to do that, as a writer, to put ourselves and what we know and relate to in our characters, becaues that's what makes them live and breathe on the page. Definitely! But I think it can also be a crutch if we're not careful, because we'll allow ourselves to live vicariously instead of actually taking a chance or a leap of faith that God has called us to. There's a fine line there.

What do you think?

11 comments:

  1. yes! my main character had my same career change-of-heart her last semester of college :)

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  2. That's great Laurie! Did you find it helped you process your own choice by writing it out through a character?

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  3. Well, I'm writing 5+ years after the fact. I jumped into a career, but hope maybe my character can inspire other girls to be bold and brave and work hard in the short run to accomplish their dreams in the long run :)

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  4. Ooh, I'm so guilty of this one. In my novella, "Reminding Me of You," Mia has a fear of heights when she goes up the Eiffel Tower with Bryn. It was so therapeutic writing about her man understanding it and her having a romantic moment up there where I would normally be totally miserable. Maybe it helped me deal with my fear a little - I hope so.

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  5. I have snuck bits and pieces of myself and my memories into my stories....it helps me relate to the characters better. But it's a little weird to think of someone I know recognizing those traits (or memories! eek!). ;D

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  6. Haha. I'm not sure if this really counts, but since my story is loosely based on my experience with my high school football team, my main character sort of IS me. She doesn't look like me and a couple of things about her are different, but our thought processes are very similar. Lol. It's written from 1st person present POV, so the reader gets a front row seat to her thoughts. It's kind of similar to the way Erynn writes, but not exactly.

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  7. Crystal, you're right. It's kinda like "agh, I'm naked!!!" ;)

    Ashley - that's awesome! :)

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  8. I definitely do this! Most of my characters love to write and think the same way I do. It doesn't seem like a big deal when I'm writing, but I think it's something to be careful of, because it's frustrating to read several books by the same author where all the main characters feel very similar.

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  9. I do this WAY too much. In the novel I'm currently working on, I found my main character becoming me. I was using many of the quirks, traits, likes, and dislikes that I have myself and not creating a new character. So this morning I sat down and made a list of ways that my character was not the same as me. From being more confident, to having a messier room, to how her level of athletic ability is far superior to mine. This is helping me as I try to break the pattern of this in my characters. I've been too quick to "model" them after someone, and instead make them into that person. Thanks for all your advice Scribblechicks!

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