When I first started writing when I was younger, I liked writing about love and romance blooming between two characters I created. This was a topic that was lacking in my very own life, and it was my way of living vicariously through the characters. As years passed, my inspiration changed. I grew up, created adventures in my life and got to know who I was through experiences with friends and family, without a special man in my life. In turn, this effected my writing and stories, because I felt like I was always leaning on my own experiences and understanding.
My stories NEVER grew. Because in relationships, I wasn’t growing. I always had these ideas of what I wanted to happen in my own life, but I never paid attention to my character’s desires in that area. It would have been easy to create a female protagonist who was in many ways, “me”, but that was also unlikely.
Recently, I have met and fallen in love with the man of my dreams. I could not ask for a better relationship. My inspiration has changed.
HOWEVER, I have also grown as a writer over the last six years or so; I know the importance of creating character background and plot (and more of course, but I digress). I am writing a novel with character’s I have defined much better. If I were to continue to base this on my new feelings and relationship, my story would become stale once again. This would do my story an injustice.
In the end, my advice as a storyteller is to listen to your character’s needs and wants. Learn what pleases them, what makes them tick, what are their flaws and goals? Their story is not yours, and let’s face it, life evolves regularly; and if you constantly changed your characters according to who you are – the writer, your story would never get anywhere…just like what happened to me in my earlier years.
I have found love, but my personal story is different than the protagonist, Elena, in my novel. I’m not discouraging using personal experiences through your characters, though. I certainly do. But remember their motivations will be different, and you should really get to know who your characters are in order to write and tell a successful story.
I’d love to know if any of you have had any different experiences with this or if you have any similar tips to add with this concept! Until then, Happy Writing!