The online gaming community is much like writing fiction, but in a group setting. You name your character in your fictional world, you develop that character, build a whole fictional world around it. All the while, other players are doing the same thing. You role play that character to help your progression in the game, much like a writer does in their own head. The major difference is the other players, who have developed their characters and those characters bleed over into your own fictional gamer world.
Anyone who has played online games with any deal of tenacity will understand what I'm saying. Those who haven't will just have to trust that I know of what I speak. Been there, done that and own several t-shirts.
Now the major problem with this scenario is where do your fictional characters end and the real you begin? You'll obviously have traits that you choose your character to possess, whether they are traits you wish you had, traits that are a small part of you, or just simply suppressed emotions or feelings you feel more comfortable giving to a character in a fictional and safe setting.
Every protagonist in anything I've written is a part of me, whether small or large, always a part. My first MS was no different. Maggie Sinclair was me. Well, me in eighteenth century Scotland. It was an easy choice when coming up with a gamer name to choose Lady Sinclair.
Lady Sinclair started out a very tragic figure. I had plotted out her story and it did not have a happy ending. In fact, her life was wrought with tragedy and lost love. Unfortunately, that wasn't so much commercially viable in the fabulous world of literary publishing, so I replotted, revised and found a way to give her a happy ending. But she was always destined to be tragic. She was one character that had a mind of her own and really never liked me trying to change her story.
In my original MS, Maggie had the love of two men, and yet lost them both. She loved them in two very different ways, but she did love them both. She spent the latter half of her life waiting on the return of her soul mate, her true love. He never came. The man she had been destined to fall in love with, the one who could never be replaced by another, just never came back to her. She never knew what had happened to him.
So that brings me back to how closely any fictional character follows your real life. Here is where you have control over your own story. Choosing to step away from the ever dramatic and oh so tragic Lady Sinclair is a no brainer.
Life is full of lessons, the really important ones are always the most painful. Life has no guarantees. If you wait on them, your life will simply pass you by. Live every day to the fullest. Love with an open and trusting heart. Cry when that trust is violated, but never, never let it effect your ability to love fully and honestly. Even a broken heart can heal with time. Lady Sinclair didn't understand that, but I do.