How Writers Work (for those who need to know)

I am a writer.

The characters I create
aren’t me.
They are part of me.
the adventurer
the romantic
the warrior
the princess
the hero
the villain
the freak
the friend
They are parts of me I hide.
The parts I wish to be.
The parts I have been.
and the parts I will be.
Every story is based on a truth.
Your truth.

-off of Pinterest

I guess this is something that has kind of been on my mind for a while, and when I saw this quote I knew exactly how to tell it. My main characters aren’t me. I’m not suicidal, in a relationship, or abused. I’ve had family ask before, and I know that friends have wondered. I am NOT my characters or their story. But they ARE part of me.
Chrissi is the main one that people think I’m the most like, because she’s the oldest, and her three youngest siblings are based on my siblings. Chrissi is borderline suicidal and struggling with her relationship with Christ. I am the latter part of this, because I struggle. Having Chrissi struggle is ground that I understand, but I also understand the beauty of feeling like God is in the room with you, something that Chrissi experiences at the darkest moment of her life. I can understand that feeling of being scared to death, and then not being scared anymore, because God silently whispers, “You aren’t supposed to live in fear. Trust me.” As for the other similarities, they are and aren’t coincidental. The three siblings being based on my siblings is just like that because I KNOW how to write it. I know how they work. And I’ve seen so much humor with that, that I figure why not add it to the story?
Chrissi is the oldest in her family. Fun fact: at some point Chrissi had an older brother. But then Chrissi looked at me and said, “I don’t have an older brother.” So Cole turned into James, and James turned into an older brother figure.
Chrissi’s favorite verse is my favorite verse. Someone pointed that out to me. But ACTUALLY it’s Desiree’s favorite verse, and the verse just happened to fit there. And plus, it fit the scene perfectly. No other verse in the Bible would have worked there.
Have you heard of parents living out of their children? That’s kind of what authors do with their characters. They have their characters do things that they’ve always wanted to do. For instance, when I was younger, I always wanted to be a famous singer. My first serious main character was part of a drama group.
Why do you think girl main characters are so tough now of days? It’s the author’s secret. The author may only leave her house one a week to go to the grocery store, but her heroine is who she really wants to be. A romance novelist may—as surprising as it is—may have never been in a relationship. Authors hide themselves in their books. But half of the time, it isn’t what you think it is.
Have you ever talked to people who have taken your books a little too seriously? Have you ever done that about an author?
By the way, if you’ve ever done that to me, this post wasn’t against you. I’m not mad.(: I just wanted to explain it and prevent it from happening again.
Oh! And this is totally unrelated, but I am 11 followers away from my first giveaway. ;)

God Bless!
–Natalie Noel