A new month means a new topic for the traveling blog! This month, Lydia poses the question:
What part of yourself (personality, physical characteristic, life in general) have you put into a main character? And why did you put it in there?
This is a fantastic question! For sure, writing has become such a personal process for me that I can’t help but spill into some of my characters. My first novel was the most obvious–the main character was a psychiatrist in her 30’s. (The difference? She had a 600 year old spirit chasing her and, as far as I can tell, I don’t. Yay!)
Once I got that out of my system, I think details of my “self” became more subtle. Now, instead of physical characteristics, hobbies, or day jobs, my characters reflect my thought processes. In other words, they are likely to approach situations like I do, they solve problems like I do, and they have a childish, pessimistic sense of humor like I do. (Just kidding.) (No I’m not.) (Yes I am.) (No…aww, never mind.)
The most interesting thing I’ve noticed in my writerly journey is that my characters seem to react to the world around them. They kind of just go along from scene to scene, managing whatever situation is in front of them, without really connecting it to any overarching theme.
Well, dang it all, ain’t that how I approach life? Don’t worry, I won’t go off into some long-winded philosophical rant, but suffice it to say, I’m the type who handles one day at a time. Hell, I sometimes manage one hour at a time. So is it any surprise my characters tend to do the same?
The problem with this is striking–my characters’ moment to moment approach to their lives makes them seem ineffectual and passive. Shoot! NOT what I wanted.
So, my task–should I figure out how to do it–is to make my characters effect their worlds rather than let their worlds effect them. It’s easier said than done, but I’m working on it.
As an aside, I would like to say I’m not some limp sock that gets kicked around the bedroom floor. I do develop goals and I do reach them. It just seems my go with the flow attitude seeps into my writing.
Then again, I am a pantster, so everything I wrote about could be a load of bollix.
So, if this was a complete let down, check out Lydia’s post next week! She’s sure to have something awesome, inspiring, and funny to say!