Wednesday, July 3, 2019

ISWG - July Post

It's the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post.  And this month's question is:

What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I think writing yourself into your characters is inevitable.  The way you see the world and experience it is obviously going to filter into your writing.  The things you do and places you go are going to be points of reference that will spill into the world of your story.

I write myself into my characters all the time, but I usually don't realize it until much later when I go back and re-read my stuff after leaving it for a while and recognize certain things as coming directly from my own perspective.

I also write characters that have traits I wish I had...  My MCs often have best friends who are bold, extroverted and unafraid to do or be whatever they want to be, while the MCs tend to be more reserved, like me.

Sacha in The Sidewalk's Regrets is probably the character that is the most like me of all the characters I've written.  She's driven, obstinate, probably a little obsessive and fiercely loyal - all traits I see in myself.  It's how she uses these traits that differs from my own experience.

I find that individual events and stories of my own often best illustrate moments in my stories.  For example, in Stumped, Ozzy is thinking about disappointment and the moment he first understood the meaning of the word and remembers the time his mother took him to a circus that promised a "man eating fish" throughout the show.  With each mention, Ozzy got more and more excited about seeing this mythical creature, only to be horribly disappointed when a man wandered around the ring eating a piece of fish in the final act.  This little anecdote came directly from my own childhood.

Do you find that you write pieces of yourself into your stories?  Do you use your own anecdotes to illustrate points?


  1. I often write characters with traits I wish I had as well as traits I do have. I think it's just natural. We draw on what we know to create well rounded characters.

  2. I definitely use some of my personal anecdotes in various spots of my stories. I always love the realness it can add to a scene.

  3. I also see the pieces of me after I review what I've written. I agree that there's some inevitability to it.

  4. I've written little stories like that in to my works before, but that's probably as far as I go with writing "myself" into the story. Although I suppose it's kind of hard to avoid.

  5. "Man eating fish"...Pretty funny in hindsight, right?

  6. I also think it is inevitable as you probably write best what you know. And really, you can get inside your own head and with that knowledge get inside the character's head. I think you bare your soul in small ways even if you don't mean to.