17 April 2014

O is for Opposites

When you're crafting the characters in your stories, do they tend to turn out like yourself or other people you know? Is your main character a modified version of yourself? Or are you complete opposites?

In the case of my book, I could not be more different than my main character. Jordan is outgoing, charismatic, never afraid to speak his mind. He can come up with a snarky comeback with a snap of his finger. As for me, the person actually coming up with those comebacks, well, I have to stare at the computer screen for a few minutes before every line is perfectly crafted. I'm ridiculously shy, introverted, and I stumble with words when I talk to people. It's a lot different when I can hide behind my fictional characters.

I'm sure I'm not the only writer who feels that they live through their characters. Your characters can be nothing like you or they can have things in common with you. I think either way, writing from these points of view can be therapeutic. If your main character is your exact opposite, then it's a lot of fun to pretend to be him. It's fun to write your characters doing or saying things that you never would. On the other side, if your characters are like you, that can help these characters be more realistic. You could also have your stories reflect real life, use your own experiences to fuel how these characters react in certain situations.

As for me, I'm most like one of the minor characters, Eric, who ends up being Jordan's best friend by the end of the book. The subplot of the book is actually a bit reflective of some things that happened to me in high school. I can simultaneously use my experiences to make the story richer, and use the story to work through any unresolved feelings. Of course, you always want the story itself to be your main focus. Don't get too caught up in your own issues to forget that these are fictional characters.

Honestly, though, I have more fun writing as Jordan than any other character I've ever created, and I'm sure the fact that we're so different has a lot to do with it. I guess even when it comes to writers and their characters, opposites do attract.


  1. Depends on the story your telling. I like stepping out of the box and writing character that are nothing like me, and then I have my zombie story where I took my 15 year old self and said "what would I have done in these situation?" There always is a little of us in every character. :)

  2. I see little bits of myself in most of my characters, though I don't do it purposely lol!

  3. Lovely post on character analysis.

  4. Hmm interesting and neat you connect with the ones opposite you too :)

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    herding cats & burning soup.