Thursday, April 19, 2018

Are You Your Character? (Julie)

Do you see yourself in your main character? Or maybe your mc is someone you wished you could be or do things you wish you could?

Do we manifest our desires into our main character intentionally or unintentionally?

I was asked once if I modeled my heroine after myself. At first I said no, but then I stopped and thought about it. And my answer changed. She does happen to have a few similar physical and character traits. And she will go on wild adventures and see fantastic places. Totally things I want to do but won't be able to, at least not to her degree. And certainly not the same types of places and adventures. She gets chased by ogres. I don't think I'll have that adventure. I hope anyway.

When I first began fleshing out my main character, I didn't realize that I put a bit of myself in her. But now, knowing her better and looking back, I see it much clearer. For example, my heroine has a talent for the bow. I have always found archery fascinating. I haven't picked up one since I was young, but I'd love to be proficient (like Katniss in Hunger Games).

In my case, I unintentionally put a bit of myself into my main character.

What about you? Are you your character?


  1. Yes and no. In my (highly flawed) freshman novel, I had a lot of similarities to the MC. Her family also resembled mine in many ways, and her character arc was partly based off struggles I'd had in the past. However, in my current WiP, the protagonist and I have so little in common that I don't even particularly like him! It's not that he isn't a well-developed character (I hope), it's just that his good qualities are the ones I like the least and his flaws are the ones that bother me the most. So trying to make the reader like a character who I don't like is tricky, to say the least.


  2. My characters tend to have a good bit of me in them, though I may exaggerate some of those aspects in them.

  3. My characters always have a trait or two of me in them, as well as traits from some of my other family members.
    Thanks for sharing, Julie! Hope you get to go on some of those wild adventures sometime. :-)

  4. Ooh, good question! In my first (unpublished) novel, the main character was opposite me in many ways, but had a sharp wit I was a bit jealous of :) My protagonist in Common is a lot more like me, though she makes decisions much more logically - I let my emotions get in the way!

  5. Definitely food for thought. The more I’ve learned about writing and character development, the more I’ve noticed unintentional commonalities between myself and my characters, even the ones I wouldn’t expect. It’s facinating how our subconscious weaves threads into our work.


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