Thursday, December 02, 2010

Relating to your MC


I like this woman, as crazy and neurotic as she is. She makes me smile and gives me hope to not give up when life gets tough. I watch her grow and change and overcome her fears and learn how to love herself and those around her again, despite the consequences.

The woman I’m talking about is my current MC. I know, it’s strange to like the person I’ve created so much. Maybe because part of her is me — yeah, I’m neurotic and a hypochondriac at times, checking out everything I can in a book.

But don’t all of our characters contain a little of ourselves?

And don’t we enjoy the adventures we put our characters in, and spend hours wondering how we might get ourselves out of them if we found ourselves there too?

It’s almost freeing.

You read that right. There are moments in my story where I feel as though I can let go of some of my own baggage when I read how the MC does. I’ll sit back and wonder why I didn’t think of that myself earlier on.

Writing has always been said to be good for you—good therapy. Putting our words on paper and seeing the process always helps us work out our problems.

So today my MC is losing what she wants most. Her business. I can’t wait to see how she’ll cope with this one. Or will she?

What one trait do you love most about your character? Do you have that same trait?

39 comments:

K9friend said...

I agree that our MC's tend to reflect just a little bit of their creator. In my recent NaNo marathon, my MC was very focused and determined...traits I'd like to see more of in myself.

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Kara said...

I think you are right about our MC's being a little bit like ourselves. Sometimes they reflect the good and sometimes the weakness. And I so enjoy watching them grow:) Gives me hope!

Kenda said...

When I started writing, I didn't realize how true this could be, that I might recognize some of my own "baggage" in my character. But along the way my MC has shown me how to look at life as more of an adventure and not be such a worrier :-) You're right, it can be almost freeing!

Saumya said...

This is SO true. I relate to my MC a lot but I do love that she cares so much about her tight knit group of friends. Writing is therapeutic in so many different ways. The craft of it bring pleasure and at the same time, the lessons our characters learn also force us to take a deeper look at ourselves. We are so lucky!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I'm starting to plot a new wip and sort of know my MC...She was a minor character in my lastest wip. But I can't say I know her inside and out yet. She's on the opposite end of the personality scale from me, so I've got a lot of work to figure her out better. :)

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Jody Hedlund said...

My grandmother recently finished my book, and she said she kept substituting my name for my heroine's! I guess I did write a little bit of myself into her! I think when we pour our hearts into our stories, it's inevitable that we'll leave a piece of ourselves there.

Sassy Granny ... said...

What a fabulous method for living vicariously through the life (lives) of another. I don't have a MC, but if I did, she'd be like Deborah of old - a powerful, gutsy, focused, godly, courageous adventurer.

Blessings,
Kathleen

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh yes! I love my characters. They're gutsy in ways I admire. My current heroine is trying to get through each day under so much stress. I love that she hasn't snapped, that she still thinks it's worth it to continue.

Jan Cline said...

My current MC is a woman who is a solid Christian, but she is vulnerable for a fall. I like that she has the courage to pick herself up and get back to her roots and relationship with God.

Carol Riggs said...

Sure! I think we're all like our characters to varying degrees. And writing has always been good therapy for me; my first 10 novels were especially therapeutic. ;)

Sally said...

My characters are more what I'd like to be like instead of what I am like, although, like a child they surely display many similar characteristics.

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Terri,

I can't really answer this, since I write non-fiction, but I think it's both brave and smart of you to allow your MC to go through some of the things that you do. In a way, you get to try out different outcomes of each situation. You're in control...so different than real life, right? :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Oh, I feel for your main character, Terri. Losing her business is gonna hurt her. My question is, do you hurt right along with her?

I often ache when I torment my characters and even tear up. Yeah, I'm a weepy woman. I cry for others' characters, too, and rarely read a book or watch a movie without tissues handy--just in case.

Katie Ganshert said...

For sure! There's always something in my characters that come from me. Usually, it's so subtle it's impossible to put my finger on it. But because I'm me and the only way I see the world is through my eyes, my characters have to sort of see that world the same way. Even if I tried to make a character opposite of myself, I wouldn't be able to do it all the way. Does that even make any sense?

Great post, Tiffany! Glad you're liking your character. :)

Lynda Young said...

I love my MC's strength. She has more of it than I do ;)

Patti said...

I love my characters loyalty

Paul Greci said...

I love My MC's resolve, and that he isn't afraid to admit that he is scared.

Cheryl Klarich said...

I haven't spoken to my MC in a while. I think she's changed a bit. Maybe she's not so timid. Maybe she's on the way to liking herself!! I hope so.
Loved this post!

Lynn said...

I read a fiction author interview who said she writes to figure out her world. I love that. I think a piece of us is within our stories and it is Suppose to be,; God intended. My story was recently critiqued and the discussion around my MC character turned into an analysis, the women relating to my MC's ways. Yeah! I think I may finally start submitting...but maybe change her name from CeLINE...?? :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri, I love my character's belief in herself. She is an extremely strong willed 11 year old who knows what she wants and is not scared to go for it. Like my MC, even I am strong willed.

Have a nice weekend!

Deb Shucka said...

In that same way, reading about characters and how they handle life's hardships is freeing. I'm so glad you're having this amazing experience. It sure sounds like you and your MC have a great relationship.

Cassandra Frear said...

It's funny to me how the characters we create from our heads are as real as living, breathing people. I love books that bring to this to me. With a really good book, I hate for it to end because I will miss the people in it!

Cassandra Frear said...

It's funny to me how the characters we create from our heads are as real as living, breathing people. I love books that bring to this to me. With a really good book, I hate for it to end because I will miss the people in it!

Heather Sunseri said...

My husband was reading my WIP recently and he said, "That sounds exactly like something you would say." It was a really smarmy quip he was talking about, so I wasn't complimented with that statement, but in a way I was. I love that my character is a little bit "me," but she's even more witty and fearless.

Rhonda Schrock said...

My MCs, as you know, are real, flesh-and-blood boys in dirty blue jeans. It's hard to pick out just one trait I love the most. Their sense of humor would certainly be one. It's all those blue eyes and cowlicks that about get me, though...

Waving and smiling,

The Mama of the Smudged-Up, Cookie-Eating MCs

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

My main character is passionate in her beliefs and the desire to protect her family. The two goals often result in conflicting feelings.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Stephanie Faris said...

My main characters are SO me...but they tend to be a lot better people than I was at that age. All my MCs are 12 or 13!

Amber Cuadra said...

I find sometimes my MC's are either the exact opposite of me, or they are how I would like to see myself.

My recent MC is actually more of a reflection of my last year (not a very good year for me) and sort of how I viewed myself then and it was good to see how I was and where I've come since writing out her character.

Though I don't always make my MC's so much like me. I love experimenting with personality types that are different than mine.

~Amber

Carol J. Garvin said...

I think tenacity endears my MC to me, but he doesn't get it from me... at least, I don't think he does. I tend to give up in the face of emotional stress. I think I'm an escapist while he has the grit to take whatever comes and persevere through and beyond.

Ann Best said...

Thanks for your comment on my post. Taking care of my disabled daughter CAN be a trial, but she really is wonderful!

Yes, I believe that all of our characters contain bits of ourselves. I don't see how it's possible that they don't. Anne Tyler, a writer I love, says her characters are all completely invented, but I still believe there's something of her in all of them.
Ann Best, A Long Journey Home

Kathryn Magendie said...

I've said before and mean it - I'd love to be friends with VK - I just like her . . .*smiling* - she's more interesting than I am :-D

Nancy said...

Yes, I find writing a very freeing thing. I love how your main character is helping you deal with issues. Keep up the good work.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wonderful post, Terri! In the ya I've started I'm purging some of my youthful mistakes/adventures. It is very freeing to writing them down and make them and tweak them...Im my mg, my main character does have some of my traits and some of my grandparents lives in her. I love that I can take little bits of them and put them in a story and keep them with me forever. (Even if it never gets published.)

Cheryl Klarich said...

I would love to meet your main character! She sounds great! Prayers for your "best book ever"!!!

Karen Lange said...

Never thought of it quite this way, but I like the idea. I've always found writing to be therapeutic (okay, most of the time:) - it's helped me get through many things.
Blessings,
Karen

sarah said...

writing is definitely therapeutic for me. I do see myself in my MC and even in the minor characters...I can see parts of myself too.

Heidi said...

How she does things without thinking. It's great fun with an MC, because there's so much opportunity to take the story in interesting directions.

However, it's not so much fun to have that trait myself. I mean, sometimes it's great to be spontaneous and carefree, but other times you just hurt people and do things you regret.

Nehha N Josshi said...

That my MC is more on the practical side of things...