Monday, December 14, 2009


Who are the characters in our stories? Are they people we know? Are they made up completely? Are they you, or parts of you? I once read somewhere (I really wish I had tagged it so I could link you to it, I'm so bad about that) that every character in this man's story was himself. The man, the woman, the bit players. Every single character was made from him, from some part of his ego, id, super ego.

I found that extremely interesting. I mean, really, every single character. But I can see his point. (Wait, I think he was a murder mystery writer and he is almost famous--I'll have to do a little digging.) I think we all put a little, or a lot, of ourselves into the characters we write.

Right now, Violet, my MC, is falling in love with a man who she knows is her social superior (remember we're in Regency England). Her main squeeze is stalwart and forthright and doesn't have a loving bone in his body. Which one is me? I guess I could honestly say both of them. I've been in both positions so it's not such a hard stretch for my imagination to come up with emotions and dialogue between them.

I know this is all very simplistic talk, I'm sure there are other writers out there who could do this justice, but hey, it's Monday morning.

I have other thoughts on this idea, I just have to have another cup of coffee. I'm also going to dig through my favorites and see if I did tag it somewhere.

The question for the day then, gentle readers is-- are you your characters?


Davin Malasarn said...

I think Gustave Flaubert said something similar to this as well. I do find it to be true in my own writing. I call upon myself when I'm constructing most of my characters, whether male or female, straight or gay, young or old. I'm often told that I write from several points of view consistently, and most of the time it's because I don't try that hard to think outside of myself. I think we all can understand everyone else if we train ourselves to be sensitive to that.

Piedmont Writer said...

God Davin you are so smart to be able to pull a name out of a hat like that. But I agree with you, I think we all, as writers, tend to take a little of ourselves and put them into our characters, even if we've never done the things our characters do; ie; commit murder, cheat on a spouse, rob a bank. As human beings I think we all have the same emotional make-up, love/hate/exhaustion/addictions/what have you.

And thanks for stopping by. It's nice to know you drop in once in a while. Kind of like checking up on me to make sure I'm ok. Or that I'm writing. hehe