1. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Have you used the character of yourself in a story yet?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mans, May 25, 2014.

    Have you used the total or some of your attributes, morality and habits in a story as the personality of a character yet?
     
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  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... many times... at times even down to the smallest detail of both my physical self and entire scenes that had taken place in my own life...
     
  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    No.
    It'd be like self-fanfiction, lol.

    However, I can say that many characters tend to have a small part of me in them even if the rest of them is totally different.
     
  4. Mystovation
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    Mystovation New Member

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    I like to imagine that my characters are who I would be if I was under circumstances. That way I'd be able to place myself in that position and accurately play out how the character would handle the conflicts
     
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  5. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @A.M.P. self-fanfiction - love the idea :D

    I think that it's inevitable - the story flows through you and pieces of your self are going to follow right down to the paper.
     
  6. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Of course I inject some elements of myself into most main characters of mine, that's almost inevitable, but I've actually written a literary version of myself once. I changed a few details here and there, minor stuff like his name, eye color, nationality, his idea of his dream girl etc, but e.g. his personality matches mine, we share the same quirks, beliefs, and opinions, and we look almost the same.

    It was a fun experiment, but I'm not planning to do it again; once was enough, especially since he turned out to be a really difficult character to write: because he's essentially me, I know him better than any other character. That's a good thing, right?

    Not necessarily: because I know him so well, I really struggled with trying to figure out what things to show about him in order to give as accurate of a portrayal as possible (you know how it is with the tip of the ice berg: you have to cherry-pick the things you show and leave the lion's share out of the story).
    I had to rely on the input of @KaTrian and some of our betas before I gained some understanding of what the essential stuff was because previously I just put in things that were interesting to me and omitted a lot of important elements because they were so self-evident to me (not so much to the readers).

    Then again, it was fun to write him because I gained some new insights about how others might perceive me, and not nearly all of the reactions were favorable, which was cool. :D
     
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  7. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I used to think that was so douchey (like Stephen King = Roland Deschain), but on the other hand, it's a fun experiment, and if it can be fun, I'm not going to deprive myself of it just because someone might say that's so douchey.

    That said, I generally avoid it although naturally a lot of me bleeds into all of my characters. There is one manuscript into which I pretty much wrote myself to find out how I'd fare in a 19th century like world wherein I'd have to become a proficient fighter, shooter, and horse-back rider (I do have all these skills irl, although I suck at each of them). Things got confusing when I was supposed to describe "myself," so naturally I'll project my shitty self-esteem onto the character, thus focusing on how hideous I am -- while my writing partner who's also my husband is all biased about the real me and portrays the fictional me as an insufferable Mary Sue :eek: :D

    Such silliness has been brought to realistic levels, of course, but at the beginning it was difficult to see yourself objectively. It was also funny how she ended up having a very different taste in men than the real me :D.
     
  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wrote dramatised autobiographical short stories for a while, then I used myself to create a half of a character in a short novel. Since then, I always use bits of people I know, including myself, to create more realistic characters. But I don't tell specific people's stories in my work. The events may be allegorical, but they are fiction.
     
  9. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I've given characters weaknesses and attributes that are my own, put them in similar, albeit, dressed up situations, but never completely self-inserted into a piece.
     
  10. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Tish and pish, I am the sole purveyor of the truth!
     
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  11. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Many, if not all of my characters, have at least some of me in them.
     
  12. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    No, characters are meant to have flaws. :D
     
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  13. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    To some degree, yes. Certain preferences, certain decisions. But not so much as it would be identifiable as being "me". Part of the reason is that the characters have their own background, upbringing, and even nationality, and therefore cannot be "me".
     
  14. Poziga
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    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure. They usually wind up dead, though...o_O
     
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  15. maidahla
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    maidahla Active Member

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    I write "Laura" stories all the time. That's my name. That's what actually kinda sorta happened in the past and I write it all down just to see if it's interesting. After you've been writing for a while, it's not about how you write. It's what you write.
     
  16. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've put elements of myself into many of my characters. It's only natural.

    However, I did go a step further in my second novel and made a reference to myself...the main characters go to visit a group of friends in Bethlehem, PA, who happen to be living in the apartment building I used to inhabit. One of the characters has a passing word or two to say about the previous tenants...
     
  17. TheLeonard112
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    TheLeonard112 Sūpākūru Senpai

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    Yes I have. Matter of fact I just started a work. I took my physical appearance; tweaked it a bit, then I amplified a few of my personality traits and made a character who resembles me in many ways. And I find no shame in that, but it is mildly embarrassing when explaining the character to people I know.
     
  18. maidahla
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    maidahla Active Member

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    did you make yourself hotter? what kind of amplifications? not trying to be creepy. jw
     
  19. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    I almost always use myself in some way, shape or form when creating a character, but I haven't written any stories with me (my name, my exact physical despiption, my personality or being descibed specifically as being me) in them yet, though I have several ideas for how I could do that in future stories, some of which are completely untrue and/or unrealistic except for that (fish out of water-ish) and some of which are takes on a "fake biography" type genre where I write about my life, but in a fictionalised way. One character in my current writing project is based on me (has the same accent, birthday and initials and same height and hair, eye and skin colour etc.), but different in a few key ways (sexuality, nationality, siblings and attractiveness), and this serves a specific purpose in the lore of the novel's verse.
     
  20. TheLeonard112
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    TheLeonard112 Sūpākūru Senpai

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    I may have made myself somewhat hotter. Lol :D
     
  21. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The narrator in my current project is a 13-year-old boy who moves to a new and very different neighborhood, which I also did at that age. Some of his experiences and reactions are derived from what I went through, emotionally, at that time. But he is not me.
     
  22. pirate1802
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    pirate1802 Member

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    Yes, but not in a single person. My 'me' is spread across different characters at different phases of their lives.
     
  23. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, yeah. My first novel (my WIR), written when I was much younger, got its start from a weird thing that happened to me one day, and it turned into a wish-fulfillment fantasy involving thinly-disguised versions of myself and the guy I was madly (emphasis on madly) in love with at the time. I'm happy to say that the male lead stopped being him well before the manuscript was finished.

    The friend I wrote it for really liked the finished product and had nothing negative to say about it. I wasn't so sure. It was fine, yeah, if you didn't look too closely at the MC's characterization. Seriously, there there was no way the plot could have worked itself out as written if it depended on someone with my experiences and mental habits.

    But I like the story, too, so now, 30 years later, I'm reworking all the characters, the female lead especially, to make them into their own people. She'll still share some of my experiences and worldview, but her family background, social interactions, appearance, and so on will be very different than mine. They have to be, for the story to be believable. Happily, I'd already slipped clues to a lot of these aspects of her life into the original manuscript, so it's just a matter of developing what's there and getting rid of what shouldn't be.j

    My second novel (WIP) is also based on an experience I had. But loosely, by analogy only. Other than the fact that my MC is female, roughly my age, and also needs her gray roots touched up :rofl:, she's way different from me.
     
  24. Quoux
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    Quoux Member

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    I try to instill a bit of my self in each character so that the story seems more personal and relative. But as a single character, no I actually haven't tried that! It sounds like it could make for an interesting "alternate realm" type of story.
     
  25. Eedjii
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    Eedjii Member

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    Never entirely put myself into story, BUT! I have always put some small attribute of my life into each story

    One guy's awkward like me, another artistic, another who likes the iron giant and so on :p
     
  26. DLeo
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    DLeo Member

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    This felt like a trick question. I've been sitting here trying to imagine a way that my writing wouldn't be about myself. Or, at least, an echo or reflection of myself. My memories, hopes, beliefs, dreams, thoughts, imaginings, navel inspections, fears, loves, observations, conclusions, doubts, desires, lusts, decisions, concerns, demands, complaints, worries, perceptions, over use of words and commas, etc... I may mix a variety of these things into a character cocktail, call it Lord or Lady Whatever from Wherever, but it is still me. Isn't it?

    I may simply be a selfish bastard but I cannot see how one single sentence of mine wouldn't be 'me'. The entirety of my imagination, including the portions that make their way to word, are composed of me. As me and from me, through my very fingers. Maybe I misunderstood the question. o_O
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014

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