Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: Are your characters about YOU?

I was in the bookstore not too long ago, and while I was searching for God-knows-what, I found myself in the Biography section. I am not a person who is fascinated by Biographies, Auto or otherwise. I mean, yes, they are quite interesting! But, I get board pretty quickly. Anyway, as I looked around at the hundreds of titles, I started to wonder what I would say in my own, lengthy explanation of how I got to where I'll be when I'm 75 (which is the age I think one should be when writing such a book!). Then that made me wonder if anyone would dare write their bio in Picture Book format. How fun would that be?

Of course, THEN, my semi-ADD mind went into another direction. Out of the stories I have written, how many of the characters that I've created have actually been me in disguise? And the truth is, not a one. Sure, I have several stories based off other people and incidents in my life. But, none are about me. I began to wonder if there was a reason for that.

Now, don't underestimate me. I could be a fun, long-haired, super sleuth elephant, if I wanted to! But I've never felt that personifying something with characteristics that I carry, would benefit anyone.

 That got me pondering...

How many characters in the fiction stories  you write
(picture book, chapter book, etc.), are
 based off of... yourself?


It's a random, quirky, and probably silly question, right? But it's one to think about. Every story is inspired by some event, or someone that you've come across. Sit back in your thinking chair or quiet space, and if you don't have any stories based of YOU, I'd love to know, plus I'd love to know why! If you create characters based off of the things you've done or the way you, personally, feel about life, please share. It would baffle me to know that I am the only one who doesn't do this. But it would also encourage me to maybe think that the "real" Bethany has some good stuff to offer!

Happy writing, guys. Feel free to be YOU, today! As for me? I will spend my day being...





... her. :)


18 comments:

  1. Fun post. I have created characters based on my own strengths or flaws. It is fun to make myself a racoon or a giraffe and wonder what life would be like. I also tend to use former students and campers. Soo many funny things, odd quirks, interesting views - they have been a great source.

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    1. Wonderful! You as a raccoon, I must say, would be quite lovely! ;)
      Thanks, Alison!

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  2. I haven't written any nonfiction yet, but one of my fictional picture book manuscripts is strongly autobiographical in character! It's called "A Pin Stink" about a little girl who hates pink!

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  3. Of the picture books I've written only one character has a few aspects of my personality, but her interests and passions are not anything I would ever like. My husband says I often draw myself into my illustrations, something that isn't intentional. It will be interesting to follow the comments to see how many writers do put themselves in their stories!

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    1. Oooh! I like THAT idea... Putting yourself into your illustrations! Brilliant AND fun! Thanks, Heather!

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  4. I haven't written nonfiction yet. In all my fictional stories the characters are typically ones that I see my own children relating to and ones they can cheer on.(none based on me)

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    1. I can't see me writing about myself... It seems too strange. Maybe that's why we had kids? 24/7 non stop inspiration? Haha!
      Thanks, Jennifer!

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    2. I just tagged you with the Lucky 7 MEME!!! It's a fun sharing meme, you'll like it :)

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  5. I haven't written any nonfiction yet, either. I do have an idea...not about me, but something historical that holds importance in my childhood memories.

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  6. Love the elephant! :) I don't write much non-fiction. When I do, it's not about me. But my fictional characters always have at least a little piece of myself.

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    1. What sorts of pieces of yourself? I'm finding that personalities and hair styles are where it's at! Haha

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  7. I don't think I do, Bethany. But, maybe if I pondered a bit more, I would realize that they are headstrong...like me. You've revealed my secret!

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    1. Well, headstrong is a GREAT quality in a MC! Thanks (er, sorry for revealing your secret!) Jarm!

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  8. I haven't done anything strictly autobiographical. But, I think when I look at my characters, there are pieces of me there. Like Annie in the one we critiqued last week...she is learning to be content with the life she has, to not compare it to others, to see her life through eyes of gratefulness and not want. Those are definitely feelings I (and probably many others) have dealt with!

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    1. No wonder I liked Annie so much! ;) Thanks, Amy!

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