At several points in 2002 and 2003, I found myself in London.
(Yes, the one in England. I’m not doing that thing where I talk about going to London and then you find out it was really London, Texas, or something.)
And on one of these occasions, I somehow ended up at an English barbecue hosted by a family of Neo-Druids. Well, I know the dad was a Neo-Druid. I don’t know about the son and mother. But really, this is neither here nor there and who even knows what a Neo-Druid is, anyway?
(Given the amount of rabbit trails I’ve managed to chase in the first few lines of this post, I’m extremely impressed with those of you who are still reading. You are true friends. Both of you.)
Alright. I WILL FOCUS NOW.
So anyway, I’m at this Neo-Druid barbecue somewhere outside of London, and as soon as I walk through the gate to the backyard I notice something that makes me want to leave. Immediately.
All the other girls look kind of like this:
And I look sort of like this:
Ok, not really, but I was in this outdoorsy-camping-hiking phase at the time, and let me tell you, it did NOT jive with the other girls and their pin-straight flatironed hair and their ruffly butt skirts.
This was one of many times when I realized that just because we all spoke the same language (sort of) did not mean English and American people were the same. I would NEVER have worn a ruffly butt skirt because 1) I thought they were ridiculous and B) there was a good chance someone would actually see my ruffly butt if I wore one.
Yes, I was more of a jeans-and-tee kind of girl. I did. not. get. the other girls. And I’m positive they didn’t get me either because none of them said a word to me the entire time. Luckily, though, my shoe would get set on fire later that afternoon, so there were plenty of distractions. (Long story. No time.)
So what does this mean for writing? Well, when I write – especially from a female MC’s point of view – I make her a character I would want to hang out with. I have not, to this day, written a protagonist that loooooves to wear ruffly butt skirts and straighten her hair. Or that enjoys gold nail polish and worries more about her lip gloss than anything else.
My MCs are very often a lot like me: Relaxed (almost to the point of laziness), indifferent to fads, and antagonistic toward shallowness.
What about you? Do you tend to write the same type of character over and over as your MC? Are they like you, or do you take the opportunity to write about someone totally different than you?
And more importantly, have you ever owned and/or worn a ruffly butt skirt? (I won’t judge. Much. Hee hee, just kidding, I won’t judge at all.)