Can you gain insight into a writer’s head by reading their work? The short answer to that question is yes. Every time I write I leave a little piece of myself in the work. It may be an experience that I went through, which I blended into a scene. Or it could be a character trait that I share with my protagonist in any given story. To be able to write well, you have to know a lot about the subject you’re writing about. You don’t know anybody better than yourself, so it makes sense that you would go there often when searching for character cues in your story.
Does this formula also work for villains? Well let’s hope not. However, for a villain to be believable, he does have to have a human side to him. You can search yourself for those traits when writing your next big story too. But when that doesn’t work, you can always resort to that co-worker who’s been driving you bananas at work lately. In the end though, you’re inserting one of your experiences into your work again, so in a roundabout way you found the answer within yourself.
When I think about Lin Wu, there is a small piece of me in her. Only I’m not as cute or as smart as she is. But I do leave small pieces of myself behind, I guess that’s why her and I get along so well. Happy writing or reading as the case may be.