Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How Much Do You Relate to Your Characters?

Reading what Sue Grafton said about her heroine being her alter ego and perhaps doing what Sue might have done had she not gotten married young and had children made me think about the heroines in my books.

My immediate conclusion is I'm not the least bit like either one.

In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series which I write as Marilyn Meredith, Tempe is Native American, has one grown son who is in college, married to a pastor, and is a deputy sheriff. I'm not like any of those things, not Native American, had 5 kids, much, much older, married to a retired career Navy man, and I was never in law enforcement.

The main heroine in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, which I write as F. M. Meredith, is Stacey Milligan, a police officer, has one son who is now six, married to a police detective and is in her late twenties.

The only things I have in common with either of these gals is the fact that they are strong, independent women--which I like to think I am too. Oh, and I've lived in a beach town much like Rocky Bluff and I now live in the mountains much like Bear Creek.

What I do think I have in common with all of my characters is that I've had many experiences similar to those in my books. I know how people feel in all sorts of situations because I've been there too. When I create a character he or she is probably going to resemble someone I've known in one way or another.

So tell me, how much are you like your characters? Or if you are primarily a reader, is their a fictional character you really relate to?



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Patricia Gligor said...

Good topic, Marilyn.
Like you, I'm not "like" my main character, Ann, but I do see bits and pieces of myself in her and in some of the other characters in my Malone mystery series.
One thing we definitely have in common is location; we're both Cincinnati west side girls. Also, Ann lives with active alcoholism, something I've also experienced.
Personality wise, I'm probably more like Ann's sister, Marnie, but I'm not her or rather, she's not me!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks for your comment, Patricia. Part of my reason for saying I'm not like my main characters is both of them are much younger than I am. I do have a good memory of what it was like back then.

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