People talk about how every character has a little bit of the author in them. It’s a concept that kind of eluded me for a while, not because I didn’t do it, but because I didn’t realize how. I looked at my main character, brave and powerful, ready to stand up for what she though was right, and I thought: that has nothing to do with me and that’s good.
I consider myself to be a rather boring person, so I don’t write characters like myself. Period.
Or so I thought. Now that I have spent more time writing, I realize that my main character may not be a reflection of myself, but she definitely takes traits of mine. Traits I understand and can express in a realistic way. Stupid and small things, such as her being forgetful or loving tea.
There’s a scene in the first book, where two characters are talking about something important, then you see the main character, and despite being at the same table, she hasn’t heard a word they said because her full attention is on her tea.
This is something I am very familiar with, something I know. And it’s something my characters know too.
This is what it means to include yourself in your characters. And its’ not limited to your characters. It’s easier to talk about things we’ve done or seen. Be it the feeling of sunlight on our skin, tall mountains that have stunned us, nostalgia.
When it comes to including yourself in characters, a lot of novice writers think of their main traits, the things that others use to describe us. But we are a lot of things, and not only are we a lot of things, we are our experiences, and our relationships and our desires.
You can take the most inconsequential trait about yourself give it to a character and that character will immediately feel more real than it did before.
Not everything has to be she is brave or depressed or a bookworm like me.
It can be, she likes the smell of lavender, he makes sure to take a spider outside, they always ask permission before kissing the other.
Remember we are a combination of many small things, so are our characters.