Thursday, 23 August 2012

Writer's Corner: Careful Or You'll End Up In My Novel


Thanks to Jessica and her great but dangerously enabling posts about Etsy, I have become a bit of an addict. There are just so many wonderful hand made things you can't get anywhere else. Plus, a lot of the stuff is book related and I tend to go a bit nuts over that sort of thing. A few weeks ago I bought the necklace in the pic from The Book Fiend and I absolutely adore it. It feels like it was made especially for me. You see, I may seem normal (Ha!) but I do spend a great deal of my time in real life warning people that I'll write them into a book and kill them off. Even stranger, some people seem to think this is some kind of complement.
     The other day I started to get a little contemplative and annoyed that everyone else is having all the fun and I'm doing all the work. So I thought, screw it, people are going to think all the characters are based on me or my twisted fantasies of myself anyway. I may as well go the whole nine yards and just write a character who is actually based on myself!
    Am not sure if I'm going to make the character look or just act like me but I have until NaNoWriMo to figure that out. So tell me guys, have any of you ever contemplated writing a character totally based on yourself? Or at least thought about it?

15 comments:

  1. All of my characters are partially based on me anyway. In the one story I have in mind, the MC is definitely mostly me. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Stories always tend to say more about the author than they intend. :)

    PS: I want a necklace like that!!!

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    1. Yep. For ages now I've been really worried about putting too much of myself into my books. So now I've completely gone the other way and just decided to write a side character based on myself!

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  2. I LOVE that necklace. (Just spent 30minutes looking through that Etsy shop too. So many things to love!)

    Sometimes I worry that my MC's are all sound too much like me, especially when I write in first person. If she was supposed to be based on me, I wouldn't really have a problem with it, but... she's not supposed to be me, so I dunno what's going on there. I think I need to get to know my characters some more. :)

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    1. Isn't the necklace cute? I wear it on days people are especially annoying :)

      I'm having trouble getting to know my characters as well and it's making writing very slow.

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  3. LOL, I have a shirt that says that!!! The necklace is much prettier, though, so I am a bit jealous :p

    But anyway, a character based on yourself? That's gutsy man; I've never really considered that. Are you thinking an MC or just a side character? I do think, no matter how hard I try, I can't keep every bit of myself OUT of my characters. A little bit of me sneaks in sometimes, and I don't even realize it until after I've written a chapter/the whole book! Hope you're having an awesome week, Lan! And I really love that necklace!!
    Ninja Girl

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    1. I didn't know the slogan came in a shirt! I want it!

      My self character will only be a side character. You wouldn't be able to tell it's me unless you really knew me really well :)

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  4. LOL! I've never thought of writing people I dislike into stories just so I could kill them off, but maybe I should!

    There's a bit of me in all my characters--reflections of who I was in my past, refelections of who I wish I could be, and reflections of who I am at present. Though there is no character who is me entirely. Not sure I could put that much of myslf out there for scrutiny!

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    1. I do it all the time! It's very soothing...or sociopathic....

      I figure if I write myself as a bit character there will be enough out there to tell it's me but not so much that I'd be stalkable!

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  5. I once wrote a screenplay about a character that was more self-insert than anything. I think every writer does that, even unintentionally, when they write their first book/story/whatever. I don't do that anymore.

    It's okay to do it unless your self-insert gets special treatment. If they become your Mary Sue, then you've gone too far. But, I'd do it in a story just to keep for myself!

    (P.S.: Sorry I haven't emailed you back, yet, Lan! I might not until next week because my family is in town for a wedding and it's just "vacation mode" until early next week. I'll get back to you then. ;)

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    1. Nope, no special treatment. In fact, I'm almost comfortable with the idea of making myself the villain.

      Don't stress about emailing. I am getting stuck into edits this weekend so I'm trying to stay away from the internet as much as I can.

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  6. Yes, all characters are based on the author...I think, anyway. I say go for it!

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  7. Hm. Interesting topic. I don't know about a character fully on myself, but when I get an idea in my head, I think I tend to incorporate bits and pieces of myself into that character. Most people say that you should write what you know, and you know more about yourself than anyone else, so why not?

    Thanks for stopping by
    @ Livin' Life Through Books

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  8. Pretty, pretty necklace *mouth foam* I love it!

    I've always been charmed by authors writing characters about other people. Mostly, I write characters inspired by other characters in other forms of literature. I want to meet someone who'll make me want to write a character based on them. *swoon*

    Nice post, Lan :D

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  9. Ha, I'm thinking about making the love interest in my book based on me, only a little bit more strong and independent, we'll see how it goes. My story is starting to have a mind of it's own.

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  10. I think the majority of characters authors write are pieces of themselves no matter how toned down, or turned on high. It might not always be in the characters themselves, but in their situations, or even what they are faced with, on some level they originate from the author.

    I say this, but then I would turn around and deny it in my own work. I write the fantastical that edges more in fantasy than science fiction. I would also deny that my characters are me, or anyone else I know, though I am sure if put out in a professional market someone in my life might see themselves in a certain role. In truth I think most of their lives are too boring or bland to put into my stories, plus I can make a character that is a hundred times more messed up than a couple friends!

    Awesome discussion!

    Beth ^_^

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