Most of the books I read describe the characters in a few short words meant to convey their personality - "a taciturn man" or "a soft-spoken woman." As if a few adjectives can describe a person. As if people are static.
If I were to write myself as a character in a book, I wouldn't know how to begin to describe myself. I don't think I'm one dominant trait that's easily identifiable. Just today, I've experienced anticipation, hope, nervousness, disappointment, frustration, despair, anger, disgust, resignation, gratitude, compassion, love, boredom, contentment, sadness, self-pity, impatience, embarrassment, loneliness... and the day's not over yet. Am I the only one who flicks emotions on and off like an OCD child with a light switch? Or is that just menopause turning me into a feverish madwoman? I don't think I can blame it entirely on that. I've been this changeable since childhood. I think people are more complex than writers give them credit for.
That, or I'm a feverish madwoman because I'm a writer. After all, I have hordes of characters to keep in touch with. How do I portray them authentically if I've never experienced what they feel?
Because they do feel, you know. All I do is pry them out of my head and spread them onto paper. What they do after that is up to them.