Pieces of She and I In My Stories

Welcome to week 3 of the Marketing for Romance Writers (#MFRW) 52-week blog challenge. This week’s topic is, How much of myself is in my writing? If you’ve noticed the poor grammar in my title, it was intentional—because I write stories in both first-person and third-person. This helps me to create a different type of character. Pieces of me? Maybe, but then again, I write paranormal and fantasy. I’m still waiting on my acceptance letter to any school of magic, it doesn’t even have to be Hogwarts.

Write What You Know

When I shared some of my writing for the first book I wrote (that one is still in that drawer yet since it requires additional tinkering) someone said,

“Your #heroine is you, right?” My first reaction was to respond with, “Ummm…no.” #author #MFRW Click To Tweet

But on closer inspection I could see where my reader had latched upon a few similarities between my character and I.

characters, third person
One of my stories written in third person.

As most writers will tell you, it’s often easier to write what you know, but it doesn’t mean to write a replica of oneself for a variety of reasons. Sure, I share the agony of suffering from migraines (and I have with several of my characters), but that’s because I can vividly share the reality of this diagnosis from personal experience, but that’s where the sharing ends.

Airing Out Dirty Laundry

If you’ve ever kept a diary or journal, I’m sure you understand the freedom that comes with being able to write whatever you feel at the moment. The opportunity to unload you fears, worries and frustration with the confidence that you don’t have to share these innermost thoughts and feelings with anyone. If I wrote stories starring myself, as some people seem to believe authors do, that would be akin to me publishing my diary—and just as mortifying.


I might share things in my stories that come from my life experiences, travels, characteristics of myself and other people I’ve observed, but I certainly never picture the character as myself. If anything, I might

Book, Evil Speaks Softly, characters
One of my stories written in first person.

enjoy the ability to live vicariously through the character to explore situations and settings that I am not comfortable enough to do in reality—or I wouldn’t want to. I like the thought of magic, but it’s more to make food calorie-free, or to do my laundry. I have no desire to battle demons and other evil entities.


First Person vs. Third Person

The characters I write in first person are often more of an intimate inner view. They focus more on emotions, fears and dealing with situations with a touch of uncertainty or fear. This would be similar to a closer look at our private emotions.

While my third person characters tend to have a little more sass and humor­—not unlike what most of us share with the world.

I might lace a few pieces of myself in my characters. But for the most part, I’ve never been confident enough, or reckless enough, to live the lives of most of my characters…only in my mind.

Scruff looking in mirror
Scuff is looking for his character.

Do Other Authors Insert Themselves into The Story?

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3 thoughts on “Pieces of She and I In My Stories”

  1. Ed HoornaertEd Hoornaert

    As I’ve said before, if I wrote myself as a character, no one would read it because I’d be so boring. For example, I thinking now about cutting my toenail. Fascinating stuff. The makings of Pulitzers!

  2. Kim ClearyKim Cleary

    You nailed how I feel too! I also enjoy the ability to live vicariously through my characters and to explore situations and settings that would terrify me in reality. When you work out how to make food calorie-free, or to do the housework … please let me know!

  3. Meka JamesMeka James

    I don’t think I could ever write ‘me’ into a story. Like with those around me, I may pull some of my traits in for a character, but it would be only one or two things. I like having a mash up so each person feels unique, like in real life.

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