View Full Version : You ever become your character

08-21-2006, 06:24 AM
I became my character in some strange, warped, and marginally psychotic ways. I finally snapped out of it and finished the book for good. Anyone else felt themselves being transformed? Or am I the only nutcase out there? (don't really tell me if I am)

My husband didn't mind though. It was as close to a menage a trois as he's ever gonna get.

08-21-2006, 06:59 AM
If you're nuts, I am too.


Nevermind. I freely admit to being a bit out there. Sometimes more than a bit. *s*

OK, seriously, yeah, I do that. I think that's one reason why it takes me so long to finish anything more than a short story. It kind of ... spooks me so I back off.

08-21-2006, 10:22 PM
You may be doing it right. In my situation, I was writing in first-person and actually started to love my character's scathing wit. One thing led to another and I think I started to fashion myself after her. It was partially cathartic but I started to become irrational. I decided that after this book, I'm not writing this character anymore. She's too addictive.

08-21-2006, 10:43 PM
I think that is one of the great joys to reading and writing - the ability to become immersed. I think if you can become addicted to the character you're writing, there's a good chance your readers will become addicted as well. And that can't be a bad thing..
Unless your character's a psychotic *****. Then, it can negatively impact your life.

08-26-2006, 01:08 AM
You may be doing it right. In my situation, I was writing in first-person and actually started to love my character's scathing wit. One thing led to another and I think I started to fashion myself after her. It was partially cathartic but I started to become irrational. I decided that after this book, I'm not writing this character anymore. She's too addictive.

I always wonder how come actors and actresses don't get stuck in their characters; I heard sometimes they're "in character" during the entire filming of the movie. But can they just then snap out of it? Probably you need to be psychotic to succeed in that profession.

As far as writing, this definitely happens to me and it's a big negative. Sometimes I'm writing about a character who has gotten past some problems I might have had--and I wind up slipping back into those problems.

Like say I used to have a fear of answering the phone. If I'm writing about a character who has a fear of answering the phone, I may wind up not answering the phone for a few weeks. Does that make any sense?

08-26-2006, 04:57 AM
It actually does make sense.

I think we assign certain problems/issues we have had (or currently have) to our characters and this can sometimes impede us from moving forward ourselves for the time we carry that character around in our head.

09-28-2006, 01:50 PM
I usually find it's the other way around. I create characters who I think are original, or based on other people - and often they're pretty screwed up, depressed or psychotic. It's only later on, or often on re-writes that I start to realise they are parts of me, or that their conflicts are really mine.

I don't mind this, except when it's a really screwed up character, then I get a bit worried :e2hammer: But on the whole, I reckon the writing is doing a good job of keeping me away from those traits in real life, by working them all through on paper, using fictional characters.

It's interesting what you can find lurking around the darker recesses of your own mind...

09-30-2006, 01:18 AM
I don't become my characters, but I find myself sympathizing with them so much that it affects me. For instance, today I was plotting out a confrontation scene between my heroine and her friend, and I felt myself becoming physically ill.

09-30-2006, 05:08 PM
Some actors and actresses do get "taken over" by their parts - like Vivien Leigh, after starring in A Streetcar Named Desire. Playing a mad character can be dangerous to your own mental health.

On a more trivial level, Jon Pertwee, best known for his work as Doctor Who, also starred in the children's TV series Worzel Gummidge, where he played a living scarecrow. He found himself sidling up to his wife and begging for tea and cake without realising his normal behaviour had changed.

10-12-2006, 10:25 PM
let's just say... you're not the only one. when i fully flesh out my main character, i become her. that also happens when i'm doing a play and then get what the character is about.
maybe it makes sense, maybe not.

10-12-2006, 10:33 PM
Erika, have you ever read Stephen King's "The Dark Half?" That's the premise of the book; the writer becomes his character, and scary things ensue.

10-12-2006, 11:09 PM
I appear in character often. Enough said.

10-13-2006, 09:15 AM
Every character I create is me in some way, shape, or form. Yes, I know this is a weakness. I'm hoping that getting published will help me sort of grow out of it.

Kate Thornton
10-19-2006, 12:52 AM
The characters I write are all me. Even though I often write from the perspectives of both male and female, straight and gay, young and old and persons of different ethnic backgrounds, even different species. Yep, all me.

Writing is the one place where I can express all of my facets, and imbue all characters with the stamp of my creation. They do and think and are things that I am not - but they are still essentially me. Pretty scary, when I think about it...

10-19-2006, 01:21 AM
While I haven't "become" the main character of my horror WIP, aspects of his life are based on me and my own fears and dreams.

I'm not a smoker. But since the beginning of the book, I made my MC a chain smoker of Camel unfiltereds. Reading through the WIP makes me crave smoking Camels, perhaps to experience what it must be like for him.


10-19-2006, 01:39 AM
Only in the deepest reaches of my imagination. ;)

10-19-2006, 03:20 AM
I don't become my characters, but they do become real for me in a way. I find myself in a situation thinking 'what would they do here?' When I talk about a book I'm co-authoring with my best friend, we talk about the characters as if they are real people.

For me, it brings the story to life.

10-19-2006, 03:48 AM
I kind of hope I don't ever become one of my characters. While having a telekinetic talent would be awesome, I tend to put my characters through h*ll. :o

10-19-2006, 08:47 AM
I went through the intense stage of this in high school, I'd adopt personas of characters I was writing...no wonder people steered clear of me. It's easier to do that sometimes, especially if they help you put up a brave face, or always have a witty comeback.

I haven't exactly become me series' MC yet...she just kinda lives in the back of my brain and gives me insight while I'm writing.

Sometimes I wonder if this is a kind of dissociated skitz-o-free-knee-a.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-19-2006, 03:00 PM
I've always done this, too. The greatest line, paragraph, and - IIRC, chapter! - ever written was by King in 'The Dark Half':

"Who am I when I write?"

10-20-2006, 12:25 AM
Gee. . . no, I never become my characters. . .

Weren Ignatius Cole :tongue

10-20-2006, 02:46 AM
Have I or do I ever become a character in one of my books. Heck, that's what the perk is all about(aside from being published and getting regular checks). To live vicariously through your writing is a "good thing" as Martha would say. I try to incorporate as much of what I want or want to be when portraying a main character on the pages of a novel. That way I can have the best of both worlds. That's especially true in the erotic genre. WOO WOO!!!

10-20-2006, 05:15 AM
This may cause me to be slightly schizophrenic (sp?!) in the near future.

(I just had to say that is the correct spelling for schizophrenic. *s*)

10-20-2006, 06:49 AM
I become some of my characters. That's actually usually how I get characters in the first place - become one, and others develop around that one, and then I shift along from one to the other within and external to the group.

10-20-2006, 07:03 AM
I never become like my characters, but there is at least a little bit of me in every protagonist I create. When I first start off with a story, though, the lead character will be 100% like me, but then gradually develop their own personality traits as they spring out of the gate and start running around on their own. What's weird for me is that it feels like its not something I even have control over. They seem to come to life on their own.