I’m working on my novel again today (yeah!). As I’m writing it, I’ve had a troubling realization: I don’t really ‘get’ my main character.
I think I’m writing her correctly (based on observations I’ve made of people like her) but this is really wierd.
She’s a serial dater. I’ve explored the reasons why she is, and I know why THIS character does it, but it’s been a little difficult to write her because I don’t really ‘get it’.
I never really dated. I had a “boyfriend” in high school for a few weeks (my first kiss). Then…nothing. I liked plenty of guys, and I wanted to date many of them, but I had this one conviction that I could never shake:
I would never date a guy if I knew that I would leave him if something better came along.
That’s not an easy committment to maintain, but I couldn’t shake it. I met quite a few guys who were really nice, obviously interested, and okay with casually dating, but I could never do it. For that reason I didn’t have a serious boyfriend until I was 25. It was two years before I tried again, and that silly man married me 🙂
And now I’m writing about the serial dater and it’s wierd. Even as I’m writing her I keep thinking, “Are you serious? Do people really think/act like that?”
In my world, no. But I’ve met women like her. I’m sure the majority of the population relates more with her than with me. And that’s why I’m creating her – because I know people who will understand her. But I’m not one of them.
Has anyone else ever done this? Have you created a character so unlike yourself that you wonder if you’re doing it correctly? Or creating someone with a ‘flaw’ that you don’t have, and then wanting to rush ahead so you can write about the revelation/change? How do you do it – how do you write a compelling character that’s not much like yourself?
Does this make sense? I’m sure my sister won’t get it 😉 but maybe there are some others out there.