Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: Characterizing Me

Hello Everyone

I am happy to be back posting again with Insecure Writers Support Group. I haven't been writing over the last couple months, so no awesome or worrisome news to report. Busy busy with the day job. But I'm taking some time off for 4th of July, and that is perfect timing to hop around the blogs. On Friday though, as I'll be working out of town today, and cooking and spending time with family on Thursday. Hope you all have wonderful Holiday plans.

July's optional question is:  What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I think every author writes a bit of themselves into their favorite characters - be they protagonists, antagonists, or secondary/supporting characters. My hero's have traits of myself that I like (mostly) and at the least have the heroic qualities I wish I have. I have them reading my favorite books, listening to my music, consuming foods and drinks I like (or wish I could imbibe). They will have some of my quirks, expound some of my political and social views, and even occasionally raise their children as I did.

The villains, of course, harbor some of my less than acceptable habits, and act on my anti-social desires. They are the ones that benefit most from my social worker studies into psychology and addictive behaviors.

My secondary characters, and I think these are more often my favorites than the protagonists, have a whole list of my quirks and off center sense of humor. Their special talent is to be the voice of reason, or conscious, of the protag or antag. They keep the story theme in the reader memory, add light humor, distract from intense situations, or do the dirty work. Dirty work can be immensely fun and satisfying, lol.

I think writing a touch of myself into my characters is like Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, and Stan Lee making minor appearances in their movies. I need to see a bit of myself in the work, as a type of reward for all the hard work of creating the worlds and characters/creatures that make it onto the page and imprint into the viewer minds.

Thanks for stopping by today; I can't wait to read everyone's take on this question, and catch up on the latest blogger news.

The co-hosts joining our industrious leader Alex J Cavenaugh this month are: Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ Cynical Sailor. Please give them a heartfelt thanks by visiting their blogs and leaving awesome comments.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe I need to make more cameos in my own books then.
Glad you're back with us!

Natalie Aguirre said...

My day job keeps me busy and prevents me from writing sometimes too.

I agree with you that some of our personality comes out in our characters.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Part of me is in all of my characters. I've never made one a vegan though. Hmmm...

Rachna Chhabria said...

Many of my characters have my traits. I like the idea of characters having quirks and off center sense of humor :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I suppose it would be impossible to get away from them being a bit like us. A friend of mine noticed that my speaking voice emerges in the stories.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI Donna,

Welcome back! Glad to hear all is well. Sounds like you'll have a wonderful FOURTH of JULY weekend. You deserve it!

I always put my passion and strong will in my characters.... as you may have noticed. LOL

ENJOY your weekend!

Pat Hatt said...

The secondary characters are sure where things can really shine through.

Olga Godim said...

All my characters are better than me, at least in some aspects. I think I need to take lessons from them.

Juneta key said...

Great post. Happy 4th and IWSG! Welcome back.

dolorah said...

Alex: How would we distingquish you from all the other shadows, lol.

Natalie: ooh to be independently wealthy . . .

L Diane: none are vegan? Wow.

Rachna: quirks are good :)

Elizabeth: I think my narrator's voice is my own too.

Michael: I have noticed :) It is your best writing strength.

Pat: Secondary characters are awesome to play with.

Olga: I am constantly schooled by my characters. Like taking advice from a best friend.

Junetta: thanks. Have a great weekend.

Lisa said...

I love the way you compared putting a bit of yourself in your books to what SK and AH, etc. do, making cameos in their movies. Why not? I love the idea!

Kalpana said...

Hi Donna! Writing a bit of yourself into your characters is inevitable I think - your music in their eats, some of your parenting. The trick is not to put too much of yourself in though and more of what you've observed in others.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


First, I wanna say how much I enjoyed your comment / vote on my recent Battle Of The Bands installment. That was fun reading and responding to.

Sorry I'm a bit late getting over here, but I am behind in virtually EVERYTHING! I've got a new full-time job beginning tomorrow (my first job since moving to Willoughberry) and I'm scrambling like a headless chicken to get last minute things taken care of for the new employer.

I enjoyed reading your post, and I have done similarly with characters I've created, back when I actually used to do some writing beyond blog bits.

I think one of my own favorite little touches was when I included a tribute to a good friend of mine who was killed by a car thief in 1989. In my one and only screenplay, I had one of my two protagonists mention that he had graduated from Martin Brumer High School. Ha! There's no such high school, of course. Marty was my good friend who'd been killed. I think he would have gotten a chuckle out of that, since it was in high school (Santa Monica High) where we actually met each other in a Theatre Arts class.

DONNA, I'll bet every story you've written includes a character who's a bit of a "wild thing". And it's in that character that I know I'd find you. ;^D

I hope you had a terrific 4th of July and that things are going well for ya, my friend! Yak later...

~ D-FensDogG

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi Dolorah! I took most of last year off of writing to focus on the day job. You work in social work and addiction? Sounds interesting. I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!

dolorah said...

Lisa: I like pretending to be someone else :)

Kalpana: Less is just right, I agree

Saint Mac: a new job eh? Well, that should keep you in cycling tires and designer water. Hope you did not get fired the first day. All the other days should be easy :)

Jennifer: I've met a lot of interesting "characters" in that job, lol.

Donna said...

I think it can be hard NOT to write a bit of ourselves into some of our characters.

Nick Wilford said...

Well, we're told to write what we know, so what better way than writing some of our traits into our characters? It might not define them, but it's like seasoning, adding a bit of flavour.