It is the first Wednesday in October, which means it’s time for IWSG Day! The awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!
What insecurities do I have this month? Well, I have one project I’m losing interest in, but trying to persevere and finish. I have another project idea bearing ideas for a series and characters and plot.
Which brings me around to this month’s IWSG question:
Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?
I remember my theater major friends in college talking about how they had to “find their way in” to a character. The longer I write, the more characters I come up with, the more I realize that I, too, need to find my way in to a character, even if our circumstances are utterly different.
For my historical characters, the personal information we share isn’t very personal at all, if we indeed share anything in common.
For the few contemporary characters I’ve written to completion, the problem is usually that we have too much in common. I’m generally more comfortable in historicals because the time period and such dictates that my characters and I are very different people. In contemporaries, I’ve had a harder time not making the characters into fictionalized versions of myself or friends, which is really annoying. I don’t even do it on purpose. It’s just mostly turned out that way.
But I guess there’s always a little something in my characters of myself: a particular point of view, a dry sense of humor, an emotional reaction, cultural similarities. They’re more intangible and only people who know me really well would be able to read one of those and realize that that’s from me and not the character; or they may not know that that little bit of information is from me at all.
So, of course, the new project series idea is a contemporary and I am determined to make sure that a) these stories are outlined because I’m tired of this mid-manuscript confusion and b) I want to develop my characters as people on their own.
The upside of contemporary? Not having to dive into tons of research. I can watch YouTube videos as research. Oh, my God, I’m so excited!