In a sort of continuation of Davin's post about sincerity and Michelle's post about honesty, I wanted to do a poll today.
(Poll closed, results below:)
Q: In your current novel, is the protagonist:
1. Someone unlike you or anyone you know? 41.5%
2. A stand-in for you, or an idealized version of you? 36.6%
3. A stand-in for someone you know, or an idealized version of them? 19.5%
4. A version of someone else's protagonist because you could write that story better than they did? 2.4%
In my last book, my protagonist was a minor character from Shakespeare's "Hamlet" that I expanded and fleshed out a lot and he's nothing like me except, of course, that he reads a lot and is obsessed by fine food. Otherwise he's a complete stranger. In my current book (titled "Cocke & Bull"), the protagonist is a gay Irish highwayman in colonial Maryland. Again, not so much me though we share Irish Catholicism but I've never killed anyone, at least.
If your protagonist is essentially you, why is that? If not, why is that? Discuss.