Do you create characters based on yourself?
I didn't used to think I did. But I totally do.
Now, see, I'm a pretty straight arrow. The worst thing I do is drive too fast. I'm polite to the elderly. I stop for pedestrians. I register my children for sports and school before the deadline. I'm almost always early. I always did my homework in high school. On time. I love to read. I got straight A's. I was in the marching band.
Some of you have a G-word for people like me. Go ahead. Say it. You know you want to.
Anyway, so to escape my G-ness, I created some characters. I put them in bad situations and laugh at them. Then I try to figure out how to get them out. It's called writing a book.
The thing is, most of the characters I've created are me in some way. Not every way, of course, but one little quality. The girl who can't ever think of a clever comeback (me). The one who wishes they could run fast (me). The one who loves the beach (me). The person who served on the yearbook committee (me).
I find that I can write these characters with authenticity...because they're really a small part of me.
I deliberately have my characters do things I don't, too. This helps me shed some of my G-ness I think. Or maybe it makes me a bigger one? I do not know.
A girl who can control fire (not me). But how cool would that be? The one who has all this rude stuff to say and actually says it (not me). Sometimes her mouth gets her in trouble. The girl who gets all the guys (not me).
These characters are even easier to write for me. That seems weird, like they should be harder because they're not me. But dude, haven't you always wanted to shed your skin and assume an alternate identity? Or is that just me? When I write, I can be anyone. I can be that girl who says exactly what's on her mind. And it's fun.
So maybe my characters really are all me. A bit here. A little piece there. Imagined or real, it ain't no thing. They're all me!
What about you? Are your characters like you? Even a little bit? Not at all? Which is harder for you to write?