I fear sometimes that I put too much of myself in my main character. I don’t know if I do it out of laziness, because it’s easier to make her like the same things I like, or because I relate to her (but of course I relate to her – she likes all the same stuff I do) or if it’s my ego getting totally out of check. But I’m starting to see it more and more the further I get into this story, and at over 25,000 words, I’m well into it.
Inspired by last night’s out-of-the-blue panic attack, I wrote about anxiety tonight and made Callie suffer from it as well. I also used one of my favourite fabric prints as the inspiration for a scarf she bought, and lastly, put her in possession of my very favourite boots, which are too distinctive to be mistaken for anything else in the description. The boots thing especially alarms me a little bit, because that’s so very specific. But it’s how I see it in my head, and I don’t want to deviate too much from the way it’s all arranged in there.
I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing entirely though. I think writing about stuff that I love makes me illustrate it better and makes it easier for readers to believe that she likes it too. In my last novel, I made my main female character a runner, something I hate, but I felt like when I described how she felt about running, it sounded unconvincing. Maybe that’s just me reading that part with the skeptic’s eye, because I dislike running so very much.
My misapprehension comes from the thought that instead of thinking “what would Callie do” in a specific situation, I’m thinking “what would I do,” and so she’s not coming into her own as a fully-fledged person. Because she is certainly not me, not even in my head, although she seems to have made herself right at home in there and talks to me often. To be sure, there are lots of differences between us too, more than there are similarities, and those differences are only going to multiply the more I write. Things are about to get a little bit crazy.
Surely there must be a blog post or something from another author who has addressed this in the past.