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The Merry Writer Writing

A Side Character Inside Your Own Book

Would you rather be a side character inside your own book, or the main character is someone else’s? I’m not a fan of self-inserts, even if they’re not Mary Sues. I think being a lead in someone else’s book would depend on the author and what they write. Do I get to choose?

I would not, for instance, want to be the protagonist of a Stephen King or Charles Dickens novel. Anything period, like a Brontë or Austen piece, sounds miserable. My next obsession is going to be spy thrillers, and as much as I love John le Carré and Robert Ludlum I would not want to live in their worlds. Nope nope nope.

A Side Character Inside Your Own Book

This leaves me with being a side character inside one of my own books. I could find a comfort level there. My characters tend to be curious about how the world works, ask questions about human behavior, and try to figure out their own feelings. Which is, basically, me. I’m already baked into all of them, so I might as well be them. It beats getting shot at, eaten by monsters, or dying of consumption.


The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

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