I completely identify with Sophia Whittemore’s post today — sometimes its necessary to insert a bit of yourself into your fiction.
My best characters, the ones who have elicited the strongest reactions from my readers, have been those who display a distinct part of my personality. It’s not always the same quality; I’ve created characters who act the way I do when I’m at my best, and others who’ve displayed qualities I would rather not talk about.
And no, I’m not talking about some kind of personality disorder on my part. All of us behave differently in various circumstances; I was a different person as a son to my parents than I am as husband to my wife, or father to my own sons. Of necessity, I act differently at work than I do while at my fencing club. This isn’t weird — it’s life.
Yet I also strive to give each of my characters their own distinctive personality. When I review my writing and notice a character acting or talking in a way that’s almost autobiographical, I always revise.
My goal is to make my characters seem real to my readers, and the best way to accomplish that task is to weave a little bit of myself into their personalities.