Fictive Selves

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.

One thought on “Fictive Selves

  1. I agree. My personal experiences have been that when I can get into the very heart of the people I am writing about I can then let the words flow from their perspective, and not my pre-conceived idea of how they would react. If we look into the lives of folks who wrote world changing literature all of them became so involved personally with the characters in their creation they actually lived their lives for a period of time (That’s why writers are a different kind of human being). Imagine how the folks who wrote horror did it so effectively. Frankenstein is more known than the author. Harry Potter is more known than the author. Even William Shakespeare who used historical backed events only wrote because he lived inside the minds and hearts of folks like …Hamlet, Julius Caesar, The witches in Macbeth. Just a thought. The other day I wrote from the perspective of a magic teddy bear. .(even in that it was quite and journey) My finished story was certainly nothing like I could have planned. Keep writing, you have a uniquely and simply you voice.

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