As I have blah blah-ed many times, I have written several novels. One set of three, and another set of two. I have finally polished the first one enough to say it is done. Now I am giving it to my family and friends to read.
They are what I call female fantasy fiction books. They all have something to do with a middle-aged woman finding her way through a totally “alien” surrounding.
Is this character me?
I believe we put a little of ourselves in everything we write. Either we are that main character or the exact opposite of that character. Or a combination of that character and someone else. Or that character is a combination of people we know. No character is 100% made up.
My husband is not taken by my stories and novels, mostly because every chapter he reads he says, “that’s so you!” He likes the writing and the places and the ideas, but he sees me on every page. A friend of mine who is reading it also teases of an early chapter relationship reflecting his own family. They see “me” and “us” instead of “just some couple.”
Do you think these reactions are because these people are too close to me to be unbiased readers? Do you think the things you write can be taken at plain face value rather than linked in one form or another to the author?
When I read poetry from those blogs I follow, although I don’t know the author personally, I can tell when they are writing about themselves. I believe that is on purpose.(Ivor? Walt? Dwight?) Their writing is an extension of who they are, what they are feeling. And I love that.
On the other hand, I want my stories to be about “some” middle-aged woman. A woman who makes decisions I wouldn’t make, does things I wouldn’t do. ~I~ know this character is, in some ways, a form of me, but I don’t want my reader to see me when reading.
Writing is a different art from painting or sculpture. In many other forms of art your goal is to express yourself. To give your version of a thought, an idea. Your interpretation. Your story. In writing, it may be your idea, but it’s really supposed to be someone else’s story. Not yours.
Maybe I should try writing a story with a main character that’s a man. Or a child. Or a foreigner. Or a dog. Using their difference to become a different person. Maybe that’s what’s needed to really be a good writer. To totally abandon who you are and become someone else.
Any thoughts on my direction?