Putting yourself in the story.....

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  1. #1
    Future Frontier Brain
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    Default Putting yourself in the story.....

    I've been away for a while, life's caught up to me. And I've placed a few topics in here about how things in writing are & what other people's opinions are before. But there's one thing that I really wanted to ask that I never did: authors that place themselves in the story. No writer can ever write something w/ out some sort of feeling/idea/whatever of their own being in what it is they write. But that's not what I'm talking about.

    What I wanna discuss is when people make avatars/profiles/characters that are neat identical to themselves or what they want to be. That's not always a bad thing in my mind, but too often I see them being the person that is seen as the best by everyone else in that particular story or the person that has a lot of issues yet that doesn't stop their perfectness. It's almost sad seeing people trying to fix themselves/their lives through their stories. And I usually see these people complaining that shows their interested in (Digimon, Naruto, Fairy Tail, etc.) are ridiculous in that they give people crazy special powers & such, yet they do it themselves in their own works.

    I know I sound like I'm just ranting, but this is going somewhere. I recently found myself doing this to my own disgust. It was like the main character was just me anime.......ized? And that no one in the story (friends of the main character, family of the main character, even police & people of that ilk) couldn't do anything w/ out thinking back to what the main character would've done or what the main character did for them. That to me isn't interesting & is bad writing & i don't want to make someone like that. Especially if that person is me or some interpretation of me I wish to live out.

    It's not like angst never made great music, you know what I'm saying? Putting yourself in your own writing can work, but I find it more often that not not working. I want to make an interesting & fun story that I & the readers can enjoy. Not just type out what I want my life to be like on a keyboard & angst as I read it because it's not.

    What's your take on people that do this sort of thing? Have you ever come across a situation where it was successful? Do you fall into this category yourself? Do you find this necessary at all? Is it unavoidable?

    Thanks in advanced for reading this & all my other posts in the past.

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    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    I find that all the characters I('ve) writ(t)e(n) have a bit of me in them (because let's be honest, each person has their own personality and their own way of writing), but I don't think I'd ever insert myself into a story like that. And not to avoid Mary Sue-ishness either (as that's often the case, and is also the case you've described); I just have an aversion to writing fictitiously about real people.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    I personally think there's nothing wrong with make a self-insert OC of yourself. After all, don't most people write stories for themselves, rather than other people? Even if they don't put self-insert OC's in them?

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    I might use a few of my characteristics for some of my characters (such as Bryan having been bullied as a child. I was too, only Bryan suffered it on a much larger scale), but I would NEVER downright insert myself unless the story was actually about me or other people I know in real life. I dislike the idea, as authors that do this often make the character the person they wish they could be, which is often a major sign of Mary-Sueness.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    If I somehow could make myself into a genuinely interesting character, then I'd take the risk but even then, it's depends on the story. I'm not fond of the idea but I have been given it some thought for a fic I've been thinking about for some time.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    I think that there is always a chance of crafting a character based on yourself, whether you intended to or not. I know that when writing several of my characters end up portraying traits similar to myself. This also doesn't make them a Mary Sue or anything really, just shows them their traits. I wouldn't worry about the point you brought up of all the characters thinking about the main character: in quite a lot of novels, movies and TV shows, the supporting characters are there to tie into the central hero, and naturally they are going to bring up the hero from time to time.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelrush View Post
    I personally think there's nothing wrong with make a self-insert OC of yourself. After all, don't most people write stories for themselves, rather than other people? Even if they don't put self-insert OC's in them?
    I think that's the problem. Whether people like it or not readers (other than the writer of course) are the only way to tell whether your work is good or not. If not for readers, how would an author improve their skills? Criticism is good for any writer & the only way to get fair criticism is to have people read their stories because you can't just judge your own work. You are too emotionally tied tro it because of all the time & effort you've invested in it.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    Quote Originally Posted by AuraSoul93 View Post
    I think that's the problem. Whether people like it or not readers (other than the writer of course) are the only way to tell whether your work is good or not. If not for readers, how would an author improve their skills? Criticism is good for any writer & the only way to get fair criticism is to have people read their stories because you can't just judge your own work. You are too emotionally tied tro it because of all the time & effort you've invested in it.
    I still don't see what's wrong with putting a self-insert OC in the story. Unless the majority of the readers hate it, I doubt that could sap the quality of a story.

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    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelrush View Post
    I still don't see what's wrong with putting a self-insert OC in the story. Unless the majority of the readers hate it, I doubt that could sap the quality of a story.
    I think the point is that the "majority" of readers do "hate" such self-inserts, which is not so much a problem with the nature of a self-insert itself, but a consequence of the most popular reason for putting such a self-insert in.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Zekkyuurem View Post
    I think the point is that the "majority" of readers do "hate" such self-inserts, which is not so much a problem with the nature of a self-insert itself, but a consequence of the most popular reason for putting such a self-insert in.
    I think the author is entitled to put whatever content that he/she wants into the story. These readers that disagree (that part isn't the wrong thing) and push to eliminate this from the writing world (THAT'S the wrong thing) don't have the right to police what authors do with their works.

    If they don't like it, then why not write their own stories? Why don't they just ignore stories with self-inserts?

    As a matter of fact, why do people even put energy into things they don't like that can be easily avoided? Plus, once somebody notices an OC of the writer, they can just close the page and read something else. It's that simple.

    Also, pushing for the elimination of self-insert characters in the writing world happens to be another form of censorship, which is absolutely unacceptable behavior in my opinion.

    I'm not flaming anyone, or trying to do anything of the sort in any possible way, I'm just stating my point of view here. I don't think it's fair to control what people can and can't do with their stories.

    @Zekkyuurem

    Your post states a good point, but I don't agree with that form of censorship.

    @Moderators

    I'm not trying to attack anyone here, so please don't give me an infraction for it.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelrush View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zekkyuurem View Post
    I think the point is that the "majority" of readers do "hate" such self-inserts, which is not so much a problem with the nature of a self-insert itself, but a consequence of the most popular reason for putting such a self-insert in.
    I think the author is entitled to put whatever content that he/she wants into the story. These readers that disagree (that part isn't the wrong thing) and push to eliminate this from the writing world (THAT'S the wrong thing) don't have the right to police what authors do with their works.

    If they don't like it, then why not write their own stories? Why don't they just ignore stories with self-inserts?

    As a matter of fact, why do people even put energy into things they don't like that can be easily avoided? Plus, once somebody notices an OC of the writer, they can just close the page and read something else. It's that simple.

    Also, pushing for the elimination of self-insert characters in the writing world happens to be another form of censorship, which is absolutely unacceptable behavior in my opinion.

    I'm not flaming anyone, or trying to do anything of the sort in any possible way, I'm just stating my point of view here. I don't think it's fair to control what people can and can't do with their stories.

    @Zekkyuurem

    Your post states a good point, but I don't agree with that form of censorship.

    @Moderators

    I'm not trying to attack anyone here, so please don't give me an infraction for it.
    No one's gonna give you any crap for stating your opinion. Atleast not here. I get what you mean about the whole censorship thing. But it's not like all OCs are the authors in their own stories. And no one's trying to police anything, I just think that readers follow what they like, & not that many people like it when writers write Mary Sue-ish characters that the author wishes they could be. Since people don't like it, why would you type/write it out even more? You can just have that in your own imagination & see that play out in your head. If you post it & people say negative things about it that's just their opinion. Yeah, people can just look over stories that they don't have interest in, but in order to do that they have to read some of stories first. Once they find something they don't like they leave. And more often than not I find the super-powered self-insertion characters to be one of the main reasons readers stop reading other people's works. Writers can write about whatever it is they want, but writing 100% for yourself doesn't seem right in my mind.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    Quote Originally Posted by AuraSoul93 View Post
    I think that's the problem. Whether people like it or not readers (other than the writer of course) are the only way to tell whether your work is good or not. If not for readers, how would an author improve their skills? Criticism is good for any writer & the only way to get fair criticism is to have people read their stories because you can't just judge your own work. You are too emotionally tied tro it because of all the time & effort you've invested in it.
    This is true, but readers can only do so much to help. It's up to the author to put their advice to good use. A hundred different people could critique the same story, but if the author doesn't put in the effort to use their criticism and improve their work, it's all pointless. The only way for an author to truly improve their skills is to actually make the effort to do so and not give up. Critique from readers only gives them a starting point by pointing out what needs to be improved.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    As long as you treat the self-insert as any other character, I see no problem.
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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Drakon View Post
    As long as you treat the self-insert as any other character, I see no problem.
    Yeah, that's one of the points I was trying to make.

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    Default Re: Putting yourself in the story.....

    as addicted and overwhelmed I am about TVTropes, it does give me quite a few tips in regards to characterization. it also makes me quite stingy about what I see as worth reading, though, and while I have absolutely no problem with self-inserts, it does kind of help to fit said "author avatar" into the world at least somewhat reasonably. otherwise, it kinda dampens a bit of the feel while reading the story, and the reader can get clear hints of what happens next despite any built up suspense...

    I'm rather fond of addressing common occurrences (lampshade hanging), so I sometimes make my character a very mild representation of my envisioned audience on occasion... sort of noting the fact that I'm a trope surfer
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