Quote of the Day:
Remember that you should be able to identify each character by what he or she says. Each one must sound different from the others. And they should not all sound like you.
I had a little laugh when I read this quote, because this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Mostly because I am now in the edit stage of my YA book and a few of the comments I've gotten from my critters have been things like "teenagers don't act like this" or "why is she doing this?"
Almost across the board, my answer has been "well, I acted like that as a teenager" or "because that is what I would do."
I've started to realize that there may be just a little too much of me in my characters. Now, I'm not saying it's bad to have pieces of yourself in your characters. No matter what I do, I'll never be able to stop doing that entirely. But, I need to be more true to the actual CHARACTER and let them feel and act and speak as they, as individuals, would do. (Because our characters are "real" people right?) ;-D
I need to start asking, "what would my character do in this situation" and stop asking "how would I react to this situation." And it's been really hard for me to do. In my non-fiction, speeches, and just every day interactions with friends, family, and complete strangers, equating situations to myself and my personal experiences is sort of how I connect with people.
But in my writing, having every character react the way I would doesn't leave room for a lot of diversity. Now, I'm not saying I do this with every single character or every single situation. It's mostly when I get a little stuck, when I'm not sure how I want my character to respond to something, that my personal preferences start creeping in there.
How about everyone else? Do you ever find too much of yourself in your characters?