I've been working on my book for over half a year! I just realized.
There has been talk of rings and proposals and change in my life recently. This past weekend I celebrated my 6th anniversary with my boyfriend, eagerly anticipating a marriage proposal but not getting one (he knew I was expecting it haha). Having been with my boyfriend for so long, almost a third of my life, it feels strange to be away from him. When we are not in the same vicinity, I am not as comfortable. I'm not squirming, but it feels like a part of me is missing. I feel whole when he's around.
Except when I'm writing. My boyfriend eeks into all of my male characters, and the way I am around him seems to find its way into all of my female characters. Somehow every male protagonist has attributes that I admire in him. Somehow. I know how, and I know why, but it boggles my mind a little that even when I don't intend to make any of my characters similar to my boyfriend or I, they wind up being that way anyway.
I was talking to him about my novel, describing how I was trying to get my female protagonist to "break" (in that she needs to start changing from who she is to something better). I was explaining how she is stubborn and set in her ways and that I was struggling with making her "turn" because she was that way. At this point in the novel, I knew that my male hero was patterned after my dear, having done it on purpose this time, and I was telling him that I needed the prince to help get her to turn.
Then my boyfriend says, "Oh, so she's like you."
It was like a slap in the face. It was one of those "Duh!" moments where you feel like slapping yourself in the face. Duh, she's like me. Stubborn, set in her ways, slightly brainwashed. Or at least, how I used to be. I'm not proud of it, but I AM proud to say that I have grown up a lot. So, pretty much what I found was that my novel was very much a story of myself and my boyfriend while we were in high school. The characters were almost carbon copies (personality and maturity wise) of our high school selves.
Sorry. This revelation was a light bulb epiphany moment for me, and as I continue to write (it having been weeks since my boyfriend and I had this conversation), it surprises me that I did not notice it before. Its so blatantly obvious now, of course.