In answer to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group question for October: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on pupose?
My answer is yes and no. For the fiction, mystery novel that I’m writing, my voice at times comes through loud and clear in my heroine.
I haven’t given her physical characteristics similar to mine because I think somehow she won’t be as interesting. I gave her two cats because I am an animal lover and I can’t imagine writing about someone who doesn’t like dogs or cats or …
The way she sees the world is similar to me because if I’m writing what I know, then her perspective is going to be somewhat like mine. I don’t start out writing about myself but I think our personal experiences are what make our writing unique so I’m sure my characters have similar qualities.
Conversely, the “creative” part of writing is being able to talk about situations, feelings, etc., different from my own so my writing is probably a mixture of both. There is also the world I experience. I may overhear a conversation at the grocery store that is entertaining and I’ll find a way to use a rendition of that experience in a story that I’m writing. It’s fun to write about differences in my character as a way to broaden my own experience and keeps writing fun!
How about you? Do you give your personal information and traits to your characters? How do you decide which ones and to what extent?