Why You Should Write a Character Based on Yourself

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Long answer: Writing a character based on yourself with perhaps a different name, different occupation, or some other changed aspect can lend a wonderful hand to both your writing and your personal growth as a writer.

Short answer: It’s incredibly cathartic.

But in all honesty, I started a book with a main character modeled after the way I perceived myself. I gave her flaws similar to mine, and I gave her some of my aspirations. I let her loose in her own world to live the dreams I have for mine, and the results were amazing.

The character I had created turned into one of my absolute favorites to write, and by falling in love with her, I started to fall back in love with myself.

Granted, she can do a lot of things I can’t/won’t/shouldn’t, but that’s part of the beauty of her: she can have experiences that I can then live vicariously through her, without any real-world consequences.

In a way, she also allowed me to explore what is really important in my life. By making our priorities and lifestyles similar, I started to realize aspects of my life that were getting too much attention (and too much of my worry, like then-troubles at work) while other, more meaningful aspects (like taking time to travel and have dedicated “me time”) were not.

The same can be true for you as a writer. The character you create does not need to be an exact description of yourself and they do not need to do/love/desire the exact same things as you, but you can still create someone close enough to yourself that enables you to explore a kind of alternate reality. Try to make them as real as possible, just like any other character you write, but give them a little something extra, because in way, that character can become an extension of you. They can be the safety net, the trial run, the one into whom you channel your deepest desires and fears, and they will never chastise you for it.

And who knows? Over time, maybe that character will develop into something so strong that they can be shared with the rest of the world, or perhaps they will remain a personal escape in a private world you can use as a sandbox.

It’s all in your hands.

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Hello & welcome! I'm Gretchen and I love to write. I'm a self-published author, longtime blogger, electrician's wife, and mom of two from Central Texas. I've been writing since I could hold a pencil & now I want to inspire YOU! So grab a cup of coffee, cozy up with your notebook, and START YOUR STORY!

37 thoughts on “Why You Should Write a Character Based on Yourself

  1. Even when I am reading a book.. I start loving one particular character and that is because I am able to relate to this character to her nature, flaws and lots more which I have in myself.
    So I guess the way you said that writing about a character based on yourself is the best way to kick start something which will definitely very close to your heart forever.
    Thank you for sharing an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback!

      I do the same thing when I’m reading, and it does help to enjoy the book more if I can see myself in one or more of the characters. Both in reading and in writing, stepping foot into their shoes brings you even more into their world.


  2. I certainly love how you put this. I’ve considered modeling a character off myself but was not entirely sure how such a thing would work. You put in a way that makes me feel a lot less bright. I think I’ll give this a try. It’ll be something else I can add to the ever-growing collection I have on this sight.
    Thanks for the insight!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d likely be making the “other me,” I’d think. I have a few ideas on my Self Narrative, though I trying to figure a way to do it without it seeming like I took it off another story. I have a lot of inspirations, all which would make an interesting story.
        I hope you have a great rest of your day!


  3. I don’t really write, but I draw, and all my characters are based on myself. I have one that is pretty much exactly like me in every way, except she’s a superhero speedster. Then I had another character that had my number one flaw incorporated into the main aspect. My scoliosis brace. Incorporated into the battle armor (fantasy character). (I’ve made 11 characters so far, each one for a different fandom or au. I sometimes write about them, but mostly dream. I really should start writing what I night-think/day-dream about them…
    (Diana Grace isn’t my actual name, it’s the name of my first character. It’s what I use as my online name.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it. I don’t think when I wrote this I meant it to only mean writing, but since that is what I did best, that’s where I draw the inspiration. However, you are absolutely right that this idea translates to other art forms, and I’m so happy to hear that drawing yourself into your characters works for you. Keep it up!


  4. Ah, Pinterest, where things stay alive indefinitely to be found Later lik right now. I wrote a character based off me back in February 2009 and she became a part of my first ever successfully completed story. I’d put so much of me in there because I’d thought I wouldn’t be able to write another as per my usual habit. But her story led to a universal series that she might guess appear in as a supporting character. It was a wonderful experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wrote a cozy mystery based on myself as the recluse I am. I gradually pulled in a friend and some family members with name changes and a Homicide Detective as a love interest. While walking her dog she finds the body of an elderly homeless woman in the yard of an abandoned house. She realizes her secret desire is to become a sleuth and searching for clues to find the murderer she gradually comes out of her shell. As a Christian she berates herself for shutting the world out after her husband is killed in a helicopter in Afghanistan. Her adventures in getting involved in the crime without the Homicide Detective knowing leads to some scary situations. The ending is a surprise when she learns who did it. It’s finished now and after 20 revisions and edits by me, several family and friends have read it and liked it and now all I need is a publisher.


  6. I’ve clicked on confirm follow on the email you sent me but it won’t take it. It just stays in a box saying Confirm Follow.


  7. One of the secondary characters in my story is basically the person I’d love to be and plays pretty much the same role in that story as I did in the real events upon which it was based.


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