“Stand next to the tall American girl and I’ll take your picture,” the man said to his 15 year old son. I was paid to go along with such requests, and so I smiled at the mortified teen and waited.
The young man did as he told, but he did not look at me. Why would he? His father was the one interested in my being tall. They said thank you and I gave a wave as I flounced off in my hoop skirt–part of the Disney World Fantasy Land costume. On the other girls that ridiculous skirt with the white ruffled slip peeking from underneath came well below the knees. On me it fell just above.
In fiction, it is not unusual for writers to make themselves the hero. First books–so I’ve been told–are thinly veiled autobiographies. Now, part of me is in every character I create. Sure. I get that. But I have never written about a girl who is tall. My height is so wrapped up in my identity that there is no way a short or average height female character is really me at all. And I wonder if I can make a girl tall and make her not like me. Should I try? If you have read this blog regularly this may sound ludicrous to you, but I don’t want to write a thinly veiled autobiography. Do you?
Is there one trait in yourself that you would never give to your characters? Or do you let your hero run off with such identifying markers and enjoy the results?
With mixed feelings I put forth this link if you should have time to subject yourself to this year’s NaNoWriMo excerpt. Please keep in mind that it was written in a hurry and blah, blah, blah…