1. ArckAngel
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    ArckAngel Member

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    Writing yourself

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ArckAngel, Jun 16, 2008.

    Is it bad if your main characters remind you of yourself? Is it bad if somebody reading a character sees more about the writer then the writer might have intended? I just find that my main character, while not being me, is similar in many ways. I don't know if thats because I'm not putting across his personality well enough, or if his personality is just very similar to my own.
     
  2. Samus Aran
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    Samus Aran Member

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    Well, it's natural instinct I think to include attributes of yourself or people you know into characters you're writing. That old 'Write what you know' saying.

    If you ask a close friend or someone you're trusting to read the beginnings of your story, ask him/her what they think of your character. If they don't say they are reminded of you, you might be in good shape.

    I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing, though. If you make a character that resembles yourself, it's a good way to practice getting people to come alive on paper.
     
  3. Nucky
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    Nucky New Member

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    I think that I am quite the character. I'd like to try to make a character of myself again. I writ a story awhile ago (2 years) and the character was myself. I think that it is good to make a character be yourself because that is the most realistic and it is easier to write because you already know your character.
     
  4. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    I've written a couple of stories in which I envisioned myself as the main character, and every time, she came across and bland and uninteresting to everyone who read her. I think the reason is because I don't have any objectivity about my own motivations, and I hate putting her into situations in which she's embarrassed or forced to act in a less-than-exemplary manner.

    I have a lot more success when I'm writing about a stranger. That's not to say that I don't put a lot of myself into the character, but if my narrator is too much like me, she's boring on the page.

    Dunno what that says about me, come to think of it.... ;)
     
  5. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    That's why I make a point not to write anyone like myself. Granted, every character is just a different facet of the writer (however small), but I never write MYSELF as a character. I used to try that when I was young, and I hated it. Nowadays, I wouldn't make a great character anyway. Who wants to read about the adventures of a self-loathing shut-in who never goes anywhere or has friends, right?

    I still believe, though, that some writers put a lot more of themselves into their stories than they can ever know. The thing is, I think most readers aren't going to bother to "read between the lines" to see these hidden things about the writer--at least, they haven't done so in my case--so for the most part you should be safe. People read to be entertained or to find something to think about, not to learn about the writer's personal life and feelings.

    If you really don't know if your character's personality is a lot like yours, or if you're not putting enough of his own personality into the writing, I think you really need to sit down and take a good hard look at your character, and see if you're writing him or if you're just inserting yourself into the story. You'll have to be honest with yourself.
     
  6. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Alot of the time you put aspects of yourself into your characters subconciously. When I read my novel back after it was finished, I realised that my MC is practically what I see myself as now, and his best friend was everything I wanted to be. I dont think it's a bad thing that they reflect me, because it makes them better as characters as I have genuine experience of what they are like, even though they're not entirely me, and act differently. So it isn't a bad thing, unless your character is some kind of person who goes round murdering puppies for kicks!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's done all the time... even by the pros... what could be 'bad' about it?... if the character works and the plot works and the writing's good enough to be published, why should anyone give a flying fleep who the character resembles?... and who'll even know other than you?
     
  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ernest Hemingway is a great example of writing about himself...I see "him" in just about everything I've read of his.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The only problem is if all your characters are you. Ubless you're writing something called Clone World.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LMAO! :D

    I wish I knew you IRL, Cog.
     

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