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Who Are Your Characters?

damehelsing at 12:00AM, March 28, 2021

This might be a simple question, but I think it’s much deeper than most think.

Characters, whether they’re our own or not, have an origin, have traits, personalities, ideas, morals and goals. Each one is different and all of them share a similarity: their creator.

We can all see that each character of ours is somehow, very much like us, almost like our children (or hypothetical children) they normally carry down something from us that’s beyond the appearance. If you know a creator personally, like best friend kind of level, you might even distinguish some traits in their characters that’s very much related to your fellow creator.

I’ve definitely given all my characters a little bit of me. Each one carries an aspect of my personality.

Trying to be as spoilery-free as possible, this is what I can safely determine in my own characters: Hel is the stubborn/melancholy/introvert part of me, Muirne is the flirty/smug part, Annie is the innocent/naive, Belladonna is the classy, Phyrra is the hopeful and Evina is the overprotective.
To a point, even their past has similarities to mine but most likely 1000x more tragic.
(Except Belladonna, I think Belladonna and I have no similarities in terms of backstories.)
Some times even the parents of your characters (if present in your story) will probably have something from you, and maybe actually embody a bit of your own parents/caregivers too.

I know each different character of mine embodies a different piece of me but their actions and reactions are different, their thought process, their burdens, all that. I’ve given them the tools and I am writing out their stories, but there will be a point where their choices/answers start to come naturally after understanding who they are and what they’re doing, almost as if they start to write themselves, their stories can be completely different from ours or very similar with a little bit of spice.
It’s very possible that we’re not really conscious about this when we’re designing our characters and their stories, and some times we are conscious about it because we want to really make our characters very much not like us, or we’re writing them like us as almost a comfort or a desire to achieve something more. I know I would love to have the powers of a witch, or be a powerful vampire, but I am mostly giving them pieces of me because I try to make my characters imperfect and very much like a human, “write what you know.”

I feel as if writers and artists, do what they do to express their innermost thoughts and desires, a way to release emotions and unload our baggage without having to really burden anyone. Creating is very therapeutic and for some it really helps us deal with whatever we’re going through but some times it’s not even like that, maybe nothing is going on and we just have so much adventure in our hearts that we just want to pour it out and what better way than to write your characters and give them an adventure to go on? Of course it doesn’t have to be an adventure, slice-of-life comics have proven to be very entertaining without needing to ride on the back of a giant red dragon.

There’s a lot that I could write about this but I feel like eventually it would just turn into a whole bunch of knots because my thoughts are very much everywhere and I would eventually bore you, but I want to know, do you share pieces of yourself with your characters? If they have parents, are they anything like yours? How do you go about writing your characters? Is it an innermost desire or just something you were thinking that would be cool? LET ME KNOW :D

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EssayBee at 4:04PM, March 29, 2021

Kind of goes along with the whole "write what you know" principle. Pretty much all characters we create are at the very least a reflection on how we see the world. Even if we're writing characters inspired by an archetype or another writer's creation, whether it be fanfiction or a new writer taking over a series (or translating characters from page to screen), it's pretty much guaranteed that those characters are molded by your own interpretation of the character and the world around you.

PaulEberhardt at 2:45AM, March 29, 2021

Every single one of my characters shares something with me, including Tiger. (Way back, one reader who knows me irl even speculated that Tiger may be the one who shares most, but she probably just wanted to tease me - long story.) In some cases I consciously try to shape a character as different from myself as can be, but in the end that's just another way of using my own traits as a atarting point, isn't it?

damehelsing at 5:28PM, March 28, 2021

@Andreas_Helixfinger: Thank you :) and I think its natural for a character that's very similar to you to have a parent very similar to yours, a reflection of being raised a certain way that's been passed onto our characters --- @Skyangel, very interesting, it does seem like it would be easier to write out the dialogue. --- @marcorossi, that's a very interesting take and view, I really like that!! --- @Xade, Yep, old reads will definitely show us a lot, I think!

Xade at 8:13AM, March 28, 2021

just as parents leave an imprint on their children so do writers on their characters, be it however light. My character Zeep of Growlution has my determination, my inquisitive nature, and sometimes my melancholy, which will be shown soon while other characters have other pieces of me. I recently read some of my old work and found parts of myself that I didn't even know I had, and some I didn't even like. So I think everyone puts at least a little bit of themselves into their characters.

marcorossi at 6:24AM, March 28, 2021

I see that many writers say that their carchters are parts of them. For me it is the opposite: when I think of a carachter, I think something like "Pumpu is a man-child", and therefore it helps me to think how he woluld act differently from what I would in a given situation. In a sense these traits are ways to differentiate carachters from me. Presumably there will be situations where my carchters act the way that I just think is normal, and therefore they will be a reflection of me, but this is only when they are not actually expressing anything about themselves. I don't know if this is a different way of looking at carachters or if it is the same thing seen from another point of view though! Weird.

skyangel at 6:06AM, March 28, 2021

My main character Sarah is pretty much all me and her closest partners and friends are all based on people I know or have known which makes writing conversations easy as I kind of hear them responding to my own lines.

Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:45AM, March 28, 2021

Another wonderful article there, Damehelsing. Indeed Molly Lusc share many traits that I have. She shares my stubborness as well as my bizarre sense of humour. She is on the other hand much more confrontational then I am, and much more willing and capable at playing games of deception and persuasion then I am. She can be quite cold at times, which I admittedly also can be at times. She is however also a highly empathic character, capable of understanding and sharing other peoples feelings on a fine scale, which is something I think any HSP-person, like yours truly, can identify with. Her former adoptive father Patric Addis is a practical, assertive and down-to-earth man, very much like my own dad. Ultimately I feel that I write these characters, partially because they're fun and exciting kind of characters I like to see more of, partially to reflect how I experience the world and the human condition at large.

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