My protagonist, Mary/Nevaeh, doesn’t have a lot of me in her. We share the same favorite book, and the same position in our family, more or less. That is pretty much where the comparison ends. Though I think every character of mine, even the antagonists, have something of me in them. The important factor to note is that the percentage of ‘me’ in each character varies greatly. Sometimes my characters are based on people I know or knew. Still, there is a percentage of ‘me’, which I think is unavoidable for a good author. It’s something like an actor’s position.
To understand, we must become. In becoming, we see. And in seeing we can give a part of ourselves, leave our mark on that which we set apart. So in creating we are dually character and creator for scattered moments in time. Even when we are separated, no matter how great or small the mark we have left behind, the ultimate connection stands. And it is that connection that serves as the beginning for every reader’s relationship with our characters and their stories. The plot may compel, but the characters leave OUR marks on them.
That’s just my thoughts on the subject.
The subject brings to mind another issue. I sometimes wonder how people used to (maybe some still do) believe that if no one forgets about you it means you still live, that you are immortal. This is said when someone important dies, usually. I wonder if creating a memorable character, one that stays with generations, means that creator and creation will live beyond death. Just a random thought.