30 Day Book Challenge Day 25 – A character who I can relate to the most

Most people who write their own fiction will probably have noticed that whether they intend on it or not, a little bit of themselves sneaks into the personalities of the characters they create. I have often wondered if it is kind of similar for reading, in as much as, we interpret the characters in such a way that we perceive a little bit of ourselves in them. At the very least, you want to be able to empathise with the characters to truly enjoy a story, even if they are polar opposite of you as a person.

But when I think about today’s challenge, nothing really is leaping out at me. I mean, I could say I’m like Zaphod Beeblebrox from the Hitchhiker’s series of books by Douglas Adams, because I am awesome and I know it (joking…), like he does, and I have 2 heads…and….3 arms…and….okay maybe not Zaphod. Hmmm, maybe Yossarian from Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, because I like to rebel against the lunacy of war…and…I’m a bombardier…hmm. Ooh I know, Aslan  from the Narnia books, because I’m a freaking lion.

So, it turns out this is quite difficult. It’s quite hard to feel like I relate to characters when I read books where the characters find themselves in situations that I am unlikely to ever find myself. Sure I can empathise with them, and relate to them in some ways, but I don’t think a single character is jumping out at me that I think I can relate to a lot, or more than this even. I mean, in books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón such as The Shadow of the Wind  and The Angel’s Game, he often has protagonists who are writers, but they are also writers in gothic settings in Barcelona, so I can only relate so far. In some cases there are entire genres where I feel this way – sure, I can relate to some characters from fantasy books to an extent, but I don’t go around riding dragons, talking to elves and swinging swords.

I know for many people they find themselves relating to certain characters in books, but for me I often stand back with awe and curiosity about these characters who are so different to me. I think it is often the difference that draws me in.

So I guess I ask the same question of you – do you feel you relate to any characters in books, and if so, who?

6 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge Day 25 – A character who I can relate to the most

  1. When I was a kid, I could really relate to Lucy in the Narnia books, although the ‘Susan’ character had my name and I really wanted to be more grown u at the time. If a book is written in first person, I feel as though I could be the main character, although very few come to mind at the moment. Usually, I feel as though I am the best friend coming along for the ride, sharing the adventure with them.

    When writing my teen novels, I did inject a bit of my personality into my main character, especially when she was experiencing things such as the sweat lodge and sharing circles. I put in a lot of what I experienced the first time that I took part in the rituals. I hope that the reader will feel that same sense of wonder and awe when they read it.

    • I often think, actually, that we probably related better when we were children reading children’s books, than when we are adults. Perhaps because of the simplicity of childhood? I don’t know really…
      I think if you put a bit of yourself and your experiences into your writing and characters, I think it usually makes the writing that bit more authentic in feel, and usually more convincing for the reader, so I imagine the readers of your teen novels will feel the same way.

      • That must be why I still relate so easily to characters then, ’cause in many ways my mind still work like a kids.. 😛 Seriously, most of the time when I read books I feel exactly as I did when I was little, my way of perceiving them feels very much the same. Of course I can perceive and understand more now than I could then. But still. 🙂

  2. I don’t really read much of novels revolving around family but the few I have read were touching. I found that I could relate to some characters so much! I have found bits and pieces of me in the characters of Holly and Ciara in P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern…and also in some characters from The Love Verb by Jane Green. But if I had to name a character whom I could relate to the most (almost as if she were actually a replica of me), it would be Anita from the book Marrying Anita (by Anita Jain).

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