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And it can be even worse. If you make it known or it’s discoverable that you based a character on yourself, that may open the way for readers (or more likely trolls) to attack you personally rather than your work. They’ll feel justified in calling your character a Mary Sue, or address you directly while asking cruel questions supposedly aimed at the book but are there to get a reaction out of you.Writing a story that works for readers can be pretty tricky, especially if you’re a new writer and don’t have experience setting up stories for success through outlining or some other form of planning like bubble mapping.

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The tendency is to create a narrative where the story is driven by how you would react in that situation, rather than how the character would react and then act in that situation. What then happens is that the plot is based on a reactive character, rather than a proactive one. Bad stuff keeps happening and the reactive character just keeps lashing out, but doesn’t actually do anything herself. You’ll sometimes see the term ‘protagging’ and complaints about how protagonists need to ‘protag’, which is to say that they’ll actually do something interesting. The way most of us live our lives is reactive, and that’s fine. Every so often we become passionate about something or decide to learn something new or we want an adventure so we book a big vacation or go try a new sport or whatever, but for the most part we just do our daily routines and if something happens to us we go with the flow. 

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