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My Brighter Darkness
I don't do it on purpose, but reading back on my stuff I notice that I tend to give certian characters some of my many quirks. Such as OCD what kind of food they like, how they talk, what they wear. Is this bad?
4/11/2007 #1
Serom Kim
There is no problem with giving your characters some of your own quirks. Most of my stories have at least one character based partly on me. In my finished story, Hurricane Wind, two characters are almost entirely based on me and three characters are partly based on me. In one of my current stories, Life is not a Fairytale, neither of the two characters are based on me, but the male character is in AP Euro, which I took two years ago. The story I'm rewriting for my friend, Shuichi's World, has all but two characters based entirely on people I know.

My point is that it's only natural to have some characters act like you. We know ourselves better than anyone else, so it's easier to write about how we'd act or what we'd say in a given situation. Making the characters more believable is a good thing and it is not a problem.

Only time it would be a problem is if the character became a Mary Sue. If your character had all your positives and looked like a romanticized version of you and acted the way you would like to act and had your ideal life but had nothing bad going on in her life or if she did then people pitied her, bad. Otherwise, if your characters act like you, flaws and all, not a problem.

6/4/2007 #2
Douglas-Herd
I've done that a lot. It's funny when you're writing it you don't realise you're doing it. Then your read over it and you can't help notice it! In my new story I'm focusing on making the protagonist the complete opposite from me.
6/15/2007 #3
DarkBlysse
I just wrote a oneshot and the character had some of my own OCD compulsions. I give characters little bits of myself and my friends all the time.
7/17/2007 #4
the sheer beauty of reveries
My story has all wrong things with the characters. I mean, Chris poynter is really cocky and lazy, and Doug Froom is a cow!!!!!!!!!! Even though he's a boy.
9/27/2007 #5
Forget Me

Self-insertion is an extremely bad thing in fiction. The exception is for when such insertion is a plot device, and even then it's a dangerous procedure. Don't worry though- nearly everyone is guilty of it at some point in their writing. Hell, I used to do that when I was a kid. I've since outgrown that crutch.

I reccomend steering clear of characters that remind you of you. Start by writing about a character who is the opposite gender or a member of a different social class. Maybe even write about someone with personal beliefs that differ vastly from your own. That's how I started. It's a lot simpler than it sounds. :)

3/1/2009 #6
Forget Me

Self-insertion is an extremely bad thing in fiction. The exception is for when such insertion is a plot device, and even then it's a dangerous procedure. Don't worry though- nearly everyone is guilty of it at some point in their writing. Hell, I used to do that when I was a kid. I've since outgrown that crutch.

I reccomend steering clear of characters that remind you of you. Start by writing about a character who is the opposite gender or a member of a different social class. Maybe even write about someone with personal beliefs that differ vastly from your own. That's how I started. It's a lot simpler than it sounds. :)

3/1/2009 #7
JadeScarlet

Its even really bizarre when you set out to write a story, you make a character with specific traits that are not like you at all. Then you put the story away, graduate high school, go to college, graduate school, you pick up the story ten years later and realize that you grew up to be the character that you were trying to write to be different from you.

Seriously, that happened to me.

I never intentionally insert myself, but I look to my surroundings for inspiration all the time. Whenever I create a situation, I will ask myself what would I do, but I also think, what would my best friend do? What would my boss/teacher do? What would my parents do? What would that crazy old man who sleeps in the bus stop do? That helps me come up with several alternative possibilities which I then use to figure out what path the character will take, so no character is ever based off of one person, but a mosaic of everyone around me, including people I know and people I don't know. They all have little traits that come from people around me, such as:

a guy with a long pony tail who never cuts his hair even though his stepfather nags him about it, has a tattoo of a sword on his arm, and plays the guitar...that is four people I know who live in different cities and have never met each other, all rolled into one character.

Sometimes it works well to give the character a trait that you also share. I could write a character that played the flute but since I don't actually play the flute myself I won't be able to give much detail about it. However I do play the piano, so I could get into a lot more description since I'm familiar with the subject.

I also put myself into situations of my characters...right now I'm actually staying in a dingy motel, so I've spent the whole morning writing a scene with my characters staying in a dump like the one I'm in (I'm moving to a new place and my lease ended before the next lease began...my characters will be staying in one because they are travelling and short on cash). If I want to write whats around me all I have to do is look and listen. I'm pretty sure that the people in the room next door were...doing it...last night, I heard banging on the walls at any rate. Some guy just walked past outside and I heard him swearing about his cigarettes (he forgot them in his car). All that is going into the story. That guy outside doesn't even know it.

I'm rambling again...another bad habit of mine. In short...little details that match your own traits are fine, but don't carbon copy yourself or your friends into the story. Create new characters using people around you for inspiration.

8/4/2009 #8
graciful

I don't see anything wrong with that...one of my stories is basically me (and some things I wish were me) with a new name!

1/2/2010 #9
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