Authors and their Characters


I saw this on Pinterest the other day and really related to it.  I think this is SO important to remember when you’re writing a villain or a character opposite from yourself.  And it’s so important to remember when you’re reading a book, too.  Just because a character is written a certain way doesn’t mean that the author agrees with it.  The great thing about being an author with a huge imagination is that we can write about things we have never experienced, and that includes villains.  We authors usually never approve of the things our villains do (I say usually never because there are some crazy people out there); we don’t romanticize it, or find it kinky.  We describe the bad stuff because that’s what the character’s life is about; not our own personal lives.

I remember the first ‘torture’ scene I wrote, and people were honestly surprised that I would write such a thing.  It was years ago when I was first starting to write chapter books.  I was always seen as the good girl who never ever went against the rules or did bad stuff.  But here I was, writing out a torture scene in my book.  And people would ask me why I wrote it, or if something bad had happened to me in my life that made me write it, or if I thought the torture was okay.  And my answer was always no, nothing happened to me, and no, I don’t think it’s okay.  I wrote it because, at that time, I was writing through the eyes of my villain.  My job as the author is to contently change character perspectives, and at that moment I was the villain.  Moments late, I was the person getting tortured and I described their pain.  It’s important to understand the perspectives and the authors personal view on the subject.

So just keep in mind as you’re reading and writing that the author doesn’t always agree with their characters actions and opinions.  Yes, we authors create the characters, but we don’t always get to decide what they do; we just have to describe it.

4 thoughts on “Authors and their Characters

  1. poetry701 says:

    I think this is a really important thing to understand. If an author wrote about only the things that he or she agreed with or thought was right, it would take the honesty out of a story. Not to mention, it’d be insanely boring and one sided. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Shameful Narcissist says:

    This is so valuable. While writing can and often is drawn from experience, that experience is augmented by our imagination. I’ve written torture and mass murder scenes before, too (a few times together). Sometimes I do wonder if the ability to do this comes from some dark part of myself, but even if this were the case, writing it/getting it out there is a way to explore it. But that being said, I know I’ve written scenes with my eyes closed per se, because they need to be written, but they still make me uncomfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

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