Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What I Found Out In Betaland

After wrapping up Draft #3 of my WIP, I sent it to my trusted beta readers. Both of them have read my first novel, which sucked all kinds of suckiness, and were more than willing to read this new book. I warned them of the differences between my first sucky baby and this next one: third person became first, fantasy became paranormal romance, boy MC became a girl, serious overwriting became slightly humorous brevity.

My betas were more than thrilled with the change (can I blame them???). I expected this mini celebration.

What I didn't expect were my findings after taking the Red Eye flight to Betaland yesterday.

Beta #1: "Hey! I just finished reading the first three chapters!"

Me: "Woot, woot! Whaddaya think?"

Beta #1: "I LOVE this story! It's funny, emotional, and I can relate to the MC a lot. In fact, she reminds me of YOU!"

Me: "Woot, wo- Wait... What?"

Beta #1: "She thinks like you, talks like you, and even hates the same things as you! That is soooo awesome!"

Me: "..."

Beta #1: "Gotta go now! I really wanna know what happens next!" *slams the door in my face*

Head hanging low, I headed over to beta #2's place...

Beta #2: "Wassup? I was just about to call ya"

Me: "Really? Why?"

Beta #2: "I just read the first ten chapters of your manuscript. In, like, less than two hours and stuff."

Me: *raises eyebrows* "Dude, you NEVER read that fast!"

Beta #2: "Sometimes I'm awesome like that"

Me: "So... Whaddaya think?"

Beta #2: "Love it. This chick's da bomb. And you know what?"

Me: *smiling from ear to ear* "What??"

Beta #2: "She totally reminds me of YOU"

Me: "..."

There you go, folks--I've written a clone.

Well, both betas assure me that the MC's waaaay more impulsive (and funnier...) than me, but the similarities are still there.

What say you? Is your MC a clone, a cooler version of you, or someone completely different?


  1. My MC is a LOT like some ways. Obviously she has much more conflict in her life, with a different background and such; but, she likes the same things I like, and often she reacts the way I would (although, not always).

    I'm sure that many writers mirror a part of themselves with the MC in their novels.

  2. Haha.
    My MC isn't like me. Well I don't think she is.
    But I can see how parts of our personalities seep into our MC.
    Okay, okay *stop bending my arm MC, it hurts* maybe she is a tiny bit like me in the way she reacts to certain things.
    I'm just glad I don't have her drama. :)

  3. My MC is so the girl I wish I had been in high school. She's much cooler and braver than I ever was.

  4. I have two series characters. One is a lot like me - my close friends and family could definitely point out the similarities. My other character is who I desperately WISH I could be.

  5. Oh well done you!!!! I say if it works then why not - let the MC be a super clone of yourself - your beta readers loved it and that's what matters!

    As I'm quite boring and rather bland, I never ever write about me -rather my alternative! :-)

    Take care

  6. My first novel's MC was a lot like me, and my current MC has bits of me but the situation is so unlike my current life (and she looks so different) that I doubt anyone will notice!

  7. My MCs always end up being a lot like me. I think it's inevitable that you're going to impart at least some of your personality/values/opinions into them. After all, who do you know better than yourself?

  8. That's awesome! And congrats on your third draft!

  9. I don't think my MC is a clone, but it's harder for me to put my finger on that than with my other characters. I think I work more from the "I want to be more like her" aspect. At least with my first ms.

    The other WIPs have MCs who are completely different from me for sure, especially my third WIP (MC is a man, a very funny, cocky man with a fear of intimacy, which is why he hides behind his humor).

    Definitely nothing wrong with keeping a lot of your voice in your MC, especially when your Betas are lovin' the story!

  10. I think a lot of my characters have a bit of me in them. I don't think I'm like any of them too much but def there is a piece of me in each one, from the MC to the mom to the best friend, to... you get the point. Great post and good luck with your new novel!:)

  11. Yay for the Beta readers! I love that kind of news. =)

    My MC is a little like me, but also not. Does that make sense?

  12. Congrats on the lovely reactions from your beta readers!

    I don't think my MC is a lot like me, but then again he is a twelve-year-old boy. :o)

    But I'm working on a new WIP with a female protagonist who likes a lot of the same things that I do...

  13. My MC is a guy, but we still have some things in common. He's way better with knives than I am though.

    Congrats on the happy readers!

  14. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I really appreciated it! I like your blog's setup. :]

    And I'd have to say that my MC is both very much like me, and very much not like me. At least on the surface. We all have different personas deep down inside ourselves, different feelings that come out depending on the situation we're in or who we're around, that we usually cannot express or wouldn't want to. We can change in little ways throughout the day, but sometimes those changes aren't permanent and we revert back to our "real selves." This, by the way, is a big theme in my novel that I'm trying to get published. So maybe I'm actually more like my MC than I thought?

  15. It happens. Everything we write comes from somewhere inside us. Parts of us inevitably wind up in our stories. My last MC was a lot like me--tough on the outside and kind of gooey on the inside, but the current one...not so much.