Are You Your Main Character?

Since I am so into writing at the moment, I have a question for all of you writers/thinking about writing/someday maybe writers.

When you write, are you the main character? Do you have any connection to the main character?

They say there’s a part of us in every character we create. If you can think it you are it because it came from you thinking it.

That’s a lot of psycho babble, with a string of truth running through it.

I have to admit that so far I am part my main character. She does things I wouldn’t do, says things I’d love to say, and gets into situations I will never in my lifetime find my way into. She…and sometimes he…is my alter ego.

I get an emotional reaction from in the connection of my characters, both when they’re fighting and loving. So is that being my character?  I don’t often base a character on someone I know, but it has happened. I change the name and the looks and sometimes their philosophy but it’s still someone I know.

I envy writers who can write a main character that is the antithesis of everything they are. Murderers and psychos and nymphs and puritans. I actually find it hard to go against grain with characters. But it’s a challenge I think I’m going to take.

But I’m afraid my bad guy won’t be bad enough, psycho enough, crazy enough. I’m afraid my moral compass will get in the way. I always wondered how Stephen King did it.

Is there a part of you in everything you write?

I’d love to hear your point of view. I really would. I’d love to see where your characters, your inspiration, comes from.

And that goes for you poets. I know a lot of your poetry comes from  personal experience and emotions, but do you ever write a poem from someone else’s point of view? Something totally “not you” yet you know it’s “you”?

I’d love to hear your answers.


16 thoughts on “Are You Your Main Character?

  1. I have never finished a book, though I have started two. I am determined to stick with this one I am on now. The main character is part of me, but just pushing the envelope a bit more. Maybe more than just a bit. It’s like taking one of my personal inner conflicts and blowing that up into the psyche of one person. Maybe I am a little anxious, my character’s life revolves around her anxious tendencies. I don’t like my job but it’s tolerable, my character hates her job and goes postal.


    1. What a great idea! Who hasn’t hated their job and wanted to blow everyone away? I sometimes spook myself when I think of all the crazy, psycho things I could have a character do. And of course tapping into our own insecurities can make for a really great “what if?” scenario. (which I’m always creating).Finish that book, gf!!


      1. LOL! I scare myself too with some of the twisted ideas that wander out. What’s wrong with me? Who would think of something like that?


        1. That’s what I think!!! I know we all have off the wall, scary, psycho thoughts flash through our mind. But to write about them? Will everyone think we are the next Mad Slasher? I hope not. Because it feels good to exorcise those demons!


  2. I write for kids and my main character is 12 tears old. I have been asked this question many times. My answer is “Amanda is the 12-year-old I would have liked to be.”


    1. That’s a great answer. I think that’s how I feel about my characters, too. I want to be the one living happily ever after. Although I do think in my third book I want to take a sad and depressing turn. For nothing lasts forever…


  3. I’m generally not my main character, though in my most recent book, my main character has some of my traits. I like to create people different from me–it’s a way to live through their world, I suppose. And villains can be fun to write. That being said, I think a little bit of the writer comes through in all their characters, probably even the villain. After all, we’re putting the words in their mouths. It doesn’t mean we agree with their words, but they are our creation.


    1. That is how I feel, too. But how do authors write truly reprehensible characters? Are they they antithesis of the morals of the writer? I mean there are some nasty characters out there.


      1. I’ve written from the POV of a serial killer, and yes, he’s definitely the antithesis of me. 😄 So in that sense, the author can take the opposite of themselves and run with it.


  4. Yes, i think there is a part of me in every character, every poem, and a part of my experience in every scene i create. Like you, i find it hard to create what i am not. It’s probably a limitation, and one of the reasons scifi is not my preferred reading genre, but it is what it is. Minds like Steven King’s fascinate me, but i don’t enjoy dwelling there!

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