When you’re writing a new story, do you worry about your characters? Do you wonder if they’ll be strong enough? I definitely do. I want the reader to feel for them. Fall for them. To empathise and to picture themselves in those situations.
Sin was the first character I created to feel more real. More fully fleshed out. Why was that? Because there was so much of me in him. I took aspects of my sense of humour, thoughts on life and also some of my experiences to build him. I think this is, perhaps, why he refuses to remain silent, even now. He always has something to say. Since then, I’ve put some of myself into all my characters. I have found it helps me immensely to be able to walk in their shoes, even if those shoes are blood soaked.
Creating a character using aspects of yourself can be a great way to bring a unique perspective to your writing. It can also be a great way to explore your own identity and reflect on your life experiences. To begin, think about the aspects of yourself that you would like to bring to your character. Consider your personality traits, physical characteristics, interests, and values. Particularly the darker ones.
Once you have identified the aspects of yourself that you would like to use, begin to think about how to incorporate them into your character. Think about how your character might act and react in different situations. Consider how your character’s physical characteristics, interests, and values might shape their behaviour. Think about how your character, and you, might express their personality traits in different contexts. How would you face a murderer or a monster? What if you were either of them? Finally, consider how your character might differ from you. Think about how their life experiences might have been different from yours and how that might shape their outlook and behaviour. This can be a great way to explore different perspectives and to think about how different life experiences can shape a person. We are all built upon the trials and successes we’ve faced. If even one thing had changed, we might be someone else completely. Would we like ourselves in that case?
Do our characters like themselves? Should we ask them? Do we dare?
<Thanks to Hotpot.ai for the Grim Reaper images!>