Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG - Personalizing Characters

Happy Insecure Writer's Wednesday! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a blog hop where writer's get together to share their insecurities and advice. Join us by clinking on the the IWSG link HERE.

Today's Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal info into your character, either by accident or on purpose?



I've done both. What's more interesting is my readers seem to project my protagonist's traits on to me. On the flip side, when I wrote a hat tip to H.P. Lovecraft's short, He titled The Tunnels where I intended the protagonist to be female (without introducing specifics) my male readers assumed the protagonist was male. 

On a side note, many of Stephen King's protagonists have been writers. Most writers write from what they know, because people want to read about the intricacies of work. When they're reading about a writer they want to be informed on their process. When they're reading about an exotic dancer, they're expecting to be walked through her dressing room.
  
How do you inform your characters?

16 comments:

  1. Funny how male readers saw a man instead of a woman.

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    1. Seriously! I was surprised. Still, I didn't correct them.

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  2. I hadn't realized that many of King's protagonist were writers. Would be interesting to read a book written by an exotic dancer and get her perspective on things. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Ha. I'm sitting on a completed manuscript, Ellen! You know a agent looking to pick up?

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  3. When I write something I don't know personally, I often base my characters on books I read or even TV shows. Or, in case of my fantasy stories, my imagination. Nobody knows how a magician feels when her magic goes haywire, do they?

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    1. Good point. I've written about evil, witches, and psychopaths. Then again, I do have my moments. ;)

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  4. Somehow I'm always slipping 80s song references into my books. Those MGers parents love all things retro;-) Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

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    1. Cool Jennifer! We had an interesting debate in the bookstore about swapping 80's song titles for books titles such as, I Think We're Alone Now, Hungry Like A Wolf, You Spin Me... etc.

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  5. Had not thought about the projection angle before very interesting food for thought. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Good to hear from you Juneta! This discussion has many moving pieces for sure.

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  6. That's an interesting observation that sometimes we may write from our perspective but other people may read from their own. Stephen King writing about writers is some of his best work, too. Definitely food for thought. Interesting!
    Anne from annehiga.com

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    1. Thanks Anne. My original post on this topic was so long I had to chop it up a few times. I could go on and on about this. Cheers!

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  7. Generally, every character I create will have a drop or two of myself nowadays...I tried for a long time to be totally sterile, but realized it made people just seem false. As for informing them, it's generally a matter of going 'What Fits/What do I want?' and, if I have no knowledge of the character traits, study up from there.

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    1. I agree. Characters feel more organic when the writer doesn't anticipate their reactions to the action sequence thrown at them.

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  8. I use the internet to glean as many details from real life that I can. I don't want every main character to be a writer, but I often have them be readers.

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    1. I'm a fan of reading and writing about character's bookshelves and interests as well.

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