IWSG: Do I use personal information with my characters?

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?


  1. Reply

    Most of the traits I give my characters come from what’s necessary for the story. If the plot requires him/her to be shy, then that’s a trait I use. I do you some of my traits for my character, simply because I’m such a good model for characters who start out clueless about what’s going on. The more they grow through the story, the less like me they become.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    1. Reply

      I can relate to your comments. Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy writing!

  2. Reply

    Somehow we always think that someone else is more interesting than we are, even if that someone is only residing in our imagination. But it is a faulty line of reasoning. How could you be less interesting than your character when you’re the one who created her.

    1. Reply

      So true! I think that’s why I like mystery series because I get attached to the returning characters. Thanks for your comment on my blog!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply