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Simple enough question - Do you put yourself in your stories?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Reilith, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. SD Stevens

    SD Stevens Scribe

    Yes, don't we all? Whether we realise it or not? I know I do, in a battle of good and evil I split myself in two.... When I first did it I didn't realise until my daughter made it clear to me! Now I try not to because those traits now belong to two very different characters.
  2. Xitra_Blud

    Xitra_Blud Sage

    Some of my characters may be quite similar to me, but it's never intentional. I don't like writing myself into stories. I like to believe each of my characters are a real, individual person and it's fun seeing who they may turn out to be.
  3. Joy

    Joy Acolyte

    Truth is, i seek inspiration not only in my surroundings of people and events but in myself as well. This includes not only personal traits but also development and changes in character over time. But i would never create a character that's basically me.
  4. AnxietyDragon

    AnxietyDragon Acolyte

    Hmm, not on purpose, but I see some of myself in a lot of the characters I write - I suppose they are all part of us and they have come from our imaginations!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2015
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    No, not at all. Who would ever read a story with a character based on me?
  6. Nagash

    Nagash Sage

    Once, just once, I did insert a very minor character which reflected my own persona as "the writer", "the storyteller". The MC met in his travels, a man who claimed to be a bard of some sort, a man who narrated "tales worth to be told" to whoever would listen to him. The MC being a depressed man and somewhat very anxious about his posterity, tells (half jokingly) the bard to chant his story if it ever turns out to be grandiose enough.

    The MC ultimately dies heroically, yet his sacrifice is unknown to most. It is however implied that his story (which I'm narrating) was immortalized, thanks to this random, traveling bard - thus, the bard is a reflection of me, and i'm a reflection of him...
    Reilith likes this.
  7. Ronald T.

    Ronald T. Troubadour

    Every character I write holds a small part of me at their core. Depending on the character, that part can be very small or quite large. And that goes for both genders. I must find something I can identify with if I want to write a believable character. And that includes my various evil characters as well. Without that connection, they don't feel real to me.

    I will admit that it is painful to see less than honorable aspects of myself in certain of my characters. But I've spent a lifetime committed to introspection and self-examination. And although it is a shameful reality, I recognize that my heart and spirit are not free of negative thoughts and feelings. But knowing that truth gives me the ability to fight against such on-going personal vitriol. It gives me the weapons I need to fight against leaning too far toward "the dark side", as referred to in Star Wars. Knowing you have a dark side, and admitting it -- if only to yourself -- allows you the possibility of controlling it. You can't fight something if you're unwilling to admit that it exists.

    That's not an easy thing to do. But it's necessary if you wish to be a better person.

    That was my greatest fear before I began to write with serious intent. It terrified me to think I must immerse my mind and soul in the core of a tainted and ultimately evil character -- even if only for a short time. I was afraid of what it said about me if I had the ability to create a truly evil character.

    Of course, I was eventually able to manage my fear and recognize that writing such tainted characters didn't have to mean I was one. It was a joyful bit of insight...one that allowed me to dive wholehearted into my writing. It took a few years, but I finally accepted that division. Although I still dislike that aspect of the writing process, I know that without evil characters --whether they be internal irritants, other people, or acts of nature -- you have no story.

    But as I said at the beginning, I have to see a small part of myself in each character in order to feel I have created honest and genuine characters. That includes those who are most heroic, as well as those with the taint of evil. It is the Yin and yang of life, I suppose. A leftover from my fifteen years of Kung-Fu training.

    We all have our different methods. And all that matters is that they work.

    But what do I know? I'm just a hermit in the woods.

    As always, my best to all of you.
    Sheilawisz likes this.
  8. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    No. I may put an idealized version of the types of characters I really like but none of my characters thus far are based on me.
  9. Zara

    Zara Dreamer

    I hear a lot from writers that they 'put themselves into the character or I become the character' and therefore many of them preference first person because it makes it easier for them to do it. But I think writing is about telling a story through another person's eyes and I've also found that when writer's make a constant habit of doing this they begin to write themselves in every character. So in each book they write all the characters become the same.
    I try to think what would mary-sue who is a shy character do in a confrontation. Because my reaction may not fit my character. I might punch them, she might let them push her over.
    So I would say I definitely write from the character's point of view and try not become the character because you then slip into the character becoming you.
  10. Ronald T.

    Ronald T. Troubadour

    Let me clarify. When I talk about placing a part of myself into my characters, I'm not talking about specific character traits. I'm referring to the emotions behind a character's actions.

    There is no emotion someone experiences that hasn't been felt by millions of people before them. But what makes a character in my books seem real for me, is to access that necessary emotion in myself. However, that emotion has to be genuine. Heroic or evil...I have to feel it...I have to remember it in detail.

    For the most part, people read for two reasons, and I believe their goal is to be entertained. They read either to learn, or to have their emotions tweaked. If neither of those needs is being satisfied, then why would a reader wish to read a book?

    I believe readers are smart enough to tell the difference between false emotions and those that are genuine. That belief gives me the motivation the make sure everything I write is backed by truthfulness. What better way to express that truthfulness than by first accessing the emotion in yourself?

    But what do I know? I'm just a hermit in the woods.

    As always, my best to all of you.
  11. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

    Why exactly people think grim is similar to Sam Tarly? If we assume that Sam is the person which share the most personality traits with George, why Sams brother is named Dickon and why Sam's father is one of the most unlikable persons in Westeros. I don't think grrm hates his family.

    Then again he offered to kill a charecter named after a fan who pays him for the wierd honer. Promising a gruesome death. Sometimes i'm thinking that he is a sociopath.

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