I always hear stories of authors who say their characters are either a lot of them or not like them at all. But me? I’m not like my characters.
To date, one of my favorites is Jade Hall (from The Breed Chronicles). I will admit that I do think we share a few qualities, though. We’re both nice, short, sassy (well, I like to think I am…), and we both have a love for fries. But, for the most part, that’s where the big similarities end.
You see, when I wrote Jade, I wrote her as the teenager I wanted to be. I don’t mean she was based off an actual person, because she wasn’t. What I mean is, I wrote her to be the kind of person I always wanted to be back then.
Jade’s good. She’s nice, brave, smart, fearless, funny. Not perfect, at all—let’s face it, who is?—but she tries to be the best person she can with what life has dealt her. Since she was 14, she’s known exactly what she wanted. Even now, a few years older, she still knows what that is and she’s doing everything she can to see that it happens.
When I was 14, or even 20, those were all things I wanted to be. Those were all the things I never was. I wasn’t brave or fearless. I hated school and couldn’t wait to get out of it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or who/what I wanted to be.
So that’s what I write. I don’t write me. I don’t write my life. Some of the situations or personalities I write will, of course, be similar, but there’s not much that is or will be based off of real people* or events. I like writing what I don’t know, who I don’t know. And until I wrote her, I didn’t know Jade.
My characters are not me. I am not my characters. I love them, but let’s face it, they’re always smarter and way cooler than me.
*One character was named after someone I knew. I might tell you which one someday. 😀