Are We Our Characters?

How much of yourself do you use in your work? How many characters do you create only to realize, “Hey that IS me”? I wonder if that is what makes us the writers we are or do our characters represent us? When I review a good chunk of my work I see many situations that my character is in that I myself was in. Some of it is on purpose and some of it is done subconsciously until I reread it. I am not sure I can even escape it. Maybe that’s why we writers get so defensive over our work not just because we spend hundreds of hours writing and proofreading over and over. But because it’s more than just the story with the characters that we love. Especially if we put a piece of our personality and real life in our manuscripts because then we are really defending ourselves. To be honest I’m not really sure I could separate myself from my characters in a lot of situations. We are in each other’s heads for the entirety of the story. It’s like having a conscience you’ve made up. They keep questioning my motives of the positions I put them in and I find myself at times asking their opinion when writing a scene or daily choices when writing. The scary part is sometimes I hear them. “Laura, do WE really need that second glass of wine?” “Do you have to consume another bowl of ice cream within an hour of the last one?” I could say if I wanted their opinion I’d give it to them. But I kind of did that when I made them up. Perhaps this is where the “general public” comes to see us as caricatures of ourselves or like bathrobe wearing, over tired, junk food eating, mumbling lunatics.

Stephen King’s Secret Window

I suppose when I lose myself in my writing, at least I have my characters to keep me company. I run them through scenes and scenarios all day long. I guess it’s nice of them to stick around making commentary when I do a Target run or make dinner decisions together.

By the way, we are having pasta again.

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