I think lots of writers have been accused of writing themselves into stories.
I feel that the maturity of the writer is not completely isolating themselves from their stories, for to create a truly realistic world, you need to write from a perspective of experience; but rather how expertly the writer writes pieces of their lives into the story.
As a non-professional writer, I obviously have yet to be able to create a main character from scratch who is a radically different person from myself, but what I do make an effort to do is to differentiate this character from me. Because as plot and story progresses, we as writers lose control of our world, the laws of the new universe has come into play and all we can do is put down the most logical progression into words.
But that’s straying.
In all honesty, I believe all writers, good and bad, do a self-insert into the story they write, it’s just the matter of how big the character is. What differentiates the better writers to the burgeoning ones however, I feel, is that teh more experienced, seasoned writers no longer write themselves as the main leads. Not to say that I’m some professional writer, but having been writing for a while, and reading other writers’ work, I see that we all have the tendency to write ourselves in as secondary supporting characters, usually voices of reason so that it’s easier to move plot along when necessary but never actually affecting the main characters growth.
Moving on from that however, I find it quite funny when people point out to writers that characters are similar to them.
No shit sherlock.
In fact EVERY single character in any story holds a little piece of the author.
You probably notice it most in the protagonists because they’re featured most prominently, but really, to create characters, what writers are really doing is chipping off bits of themselves and people they know and meshing these bits into new people, who then grow into their own individuals in the world the writer creates.
You can’t really create a brand new character from nothing, you need basis, from stories you’ve read, people you’ve met and lives you’ve seen so that your characters will make the appropriate realistic choices and actions. It’s hard to write about characters you cannot relate to, it’s just some characters whom you write about, people don’t realize you CAN relate to. Also, if the plot progresses in a way that’s vastly different from the author, then either the author is going through something life-changing or you don’t know this person as well as you think you do. Honestly, we as authors wouldn’t write a story whose plot deviates from our own beliefs.
If we do, then we’re experimenting about a new belief, looking at things from a new perspective…which ultimately means this is a possibility, a perspective that we accept.
So there you have it, what goes on inside the story when we are crafting it.
Actually, if you have friends who are writers, and they keep a notebook of plot bunnies, read it sometimes. It’s fun to see how our brains work, how we cancel and re-write different scenarios because they aren’t real enough for us. It really puts life into perspective, because each of these unused plots are possibilities, just like choices we chose not to make that could have led to a different future. But then realize, whilst some futures are radically different, others remain pretty much the some. But one thing never changes, all things come to an end. Just like life.
Ooo yes, Chocomon has made this much profound.