Writing Novels: Author of New Characters or Really Just Documenting your Life?

Well, it’s true. My email story has ended.  Six months and 380 single spaced pages later, it’s over.  It’s a sad day for this 20-something-year-old.  Actually feels like a part of my heart went missing.  I spent six months developing these characters, as well as dreaming about them.  They became a part of who I am.  It’s actually really funny on how these characters have developed traits of both me and my friend that was writing this with me.  Honestly, I am CONVINCED that one of the main characters is her and the other is me.  It’s sort of funny, but maybe this is why I am so connected to our characters.  I have to say that this was quite the writing project for me.  I totally feel like I have grown as a writer over these past six months.  This story became my outlet, source of comedy and stress reliever. It was really my life.

So, here is a question for all you authors and creative writing enthusiasts: When you are developing characters, does one of them develop traits of you or people you know?  I would be curious to know how many classic authors developed characters with traits similar to them or people they knew.  Do we do this unknowingly?  In the case of my story, it sort of just happened.  One day I read an entry and was like “Oh my…that character is me.”  It’s really an interesting concept. I would be interested in your views.


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