1. slippingbeauty
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    slippingbeauty Member

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    Hi I may have a problem?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by slippingbeauty, Aug 25, 2011.

    So whenever I write a novel (it hasnt been that many yet haha) I always built the main character on myself and it might be a boy as well as a girl but the person is always alot similar to me... I reckon this is pretty normal for beginners but do u guys think that I should work on changing that or is it ok?
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    It's okay as long as they're not completely identical to you. You should practice writing characters different from you, as that's fun and challenging too ;D
     
  3. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the character is engaging enough to sway the reader into following him or her then it doesn't matter who the character is based on. It's easier to write protagonists with similar traits to our own, and there's nothing wrong with that.
     
  4. slippingbeauty
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    slippingbeauty Member

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    Yeah I guess it would be fun trying to push myself that way:) but yeah its easier to have the character be like myself cause then I know what he or she will do:p thanks guys!
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you would get published it's better to not always base the character on yourself, IMo, because for a reader that follows and frequently reads the same author it's pretty annoying to always end up with a protagonist that is exactly like the previous ones. it makes the reader guess how the character is going to react and behave to everything that happens to him/her, even before he reads about it. You soon realize the author is using herself as a rolemodel to create the character.
     
  6. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Isn't it more fun to make your mc behave in a way you'd like to, but would never dare? The what if game! Then it wouldn't really matter if she is based in you.
     
  7. Matt Fili
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    Matt Fili New Member

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    I like pinelopikappa's idea, another good idea is to base a main character after friends or families, it's a form of the 'what if' game since you aren't for sure what this person might choose, but you can try and infer from their personality.
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd work on changing it, yes. If you'd lose interest if you make the main character too much un-like you, you could start by fleshing out, and identifying with, secondary characters.
     
  9. slippingbeauty
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    ah all very interesting feedback I will keep it in mind:D
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing yourself as the main character is very coimmon, and not only for new writers. After all, who do you know better?

    But it's much more fun, if nothing else, to write someone who is most assuredly not you.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Many writers, including some of the greatest ones, base at least their early characters on themselves. Ernest Hemingway's first two proper novels, The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, are practically autobiographical. The same goes for James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Almost everything Thomas Wolfe wrote was fictionalized autobiography.

    It isn't the character himself that makes a novel great, it's how you write him. If you bring depth and strength and beauty to your writing, your novel will be good whether you write about yourself (or someone strongly resembling yourself) or not.
     
  12. Radrook
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    Radrook Contributing Member

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    As has been pointed out-it's OK to do so up to a certain point. But when you want to diversify, try conglamerating personality traits of people you know well, such as father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, brother, friend, in laws, school teacher in order to create a unique personality for your mc that isn't you.
     
  13. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    If you work well as character there's not problem!:D
     
  14. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I understand the ease of writing a character as yourself, because as the story progresses and you write your MC's role, you can always say what would I do / feel / think in this situation. There's nothing wrong with that, except that you may get criticised, as I have been, from writing an MC who's the law abiding good guy hero that I either am or would want to be.

    But writing as someone very different to you is much trickier, not least because all your instincts are telling you to do one thing and your MC has to do something else, to match his psyche.

    One suggestion I have, though it doesn't work for me since I'm stultified in who I am, is to play RPG's. I can't play an evil dude no matter how I try, but if you can then maybe that can help to shape your writing of your MC.

    Cheers.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Dude.

    That's the most fun you can have in an RPG.
     
  16. slippingbeauty
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    slippingbeauty Member

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    This is reassuring:p I will take your word for it;) thanks for the tips!
     
  17. slippingbeauty
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    slippingbeauty Member

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    Thanks everyone I really appreciate it!! Several of you say that it could be a good idea to base a character on someone that I know well; I think this could be a good idea! I always change it up a bit so Im not talking making the character exactly like someone I know but yeah:) oh and I dont know what RPG means:p
     
  18. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with whoever said part of the fun is writing about someone completely unlike yourself to try and discover what it would be like and how that person function. to put yourself into their minds and try to understand how they think and why they behave like they do.
     
  19. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    forgot to add: if you want to keep basing them off yourself you could concentrate on one particular trait of yours and develop that, take it to the extreme, and not using every one of your personal traits in every character you create. that way you can make numerour characters based upon yourself that will still be different from each other.
     
  20. slippingbeauty
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    Haha thats funny cause thats exactlly what Im doing too:p thanks:)
     
  21. Radrook
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    Radrook Contributing Member

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    The following has been helpful for some writers in the early stages of their development. Some even claim they still use it. Each person has to decide for himself what works for him.


     
  22. slippingbeauty
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    thanks Im going to try that:D
     

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