Ernest Hemingway said, Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Is that true? What exactly drives the words we set down on paper?
We are told to write from experience. Am I then to believe that Tolkien actually met a hobbit? Or rather a man who inspired Frodo? I don’t know the history of Tolkien’s imagination. I do however know the history of mine.
Welcome to the Manic Writer
I’m Ann Shannon. This is my October attempt at the #IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) Blog Hop. The #IWSG blog hop is a great group of writers and bloggers who come together once a month to share their thoughts on a common theme. You can read more of their posts by clicking here. The hop this month is hosted by Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes and Tamara Narayan. Thank you for hosting and thank you to all the great contributors! I always learn something new!
I’m so glad you came by and I hope you find something to help you in your writing journey today. I’d love to know your thoughts on this and your journey as a writer. Drop me a comment and let me know how you’re doing!
I write romance and I focus my blog efforts on Indie Authors because I love them! Won’t you drop your email in that subscribe box to the right and join me in my mania?
On To the Personal
The question this month is “Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?” And my honest answer is, I’m not sure. How personal is too personal?
I don’t use family names, or dates, but my family and the life we’ve lived certainly is part of the narrative in my head that drives my stories. So let’s define personal information first.
My own personal information would be my name, important dates, such as my birthday, anniversaries and personal milestones. It would also include personality and preferences. And it would include those characteristics of all the people I know.
I am, in my heart, a fanfiction writer. It’s where I got my start and it’s what I do for fun. (Yes, I write full time during the day and then write for fun in the evening. Sometimes.) So all my stories are some version of a what if question I asked myself about a real life situation. That being said, by the time I’m writing a story about it the person who inspired the question has been changed so much to fit into the story I’m telling that they are no longer recognizable. And sometimes those inspirations are characters in other stories that inspired me.
A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer. – Joseph Conrad
My current female heroine is a pink haired medic who is fighting to survive after an apocalypse. At the time I dreamed the idea up my daughter’s hair was cherry blossom pink and I loved it. I wanted to write a story about a girl with pink hair. My daughter also made the observation that my female characters needed to be stronger. Thus Amethyst was born. Is she my daughter? Or the character that inspired her? (Can you guess?) Not at all. She is her own unique person, with her own traits, problems and desires.
Back to the main Question
Personal information? No I haven’t slipped it in. I’ve never named a character after myself, or someone I knew. In fact I work very hard not to use names of people I know because I don’t want them to think I named someone after them.
How personal is too personal?
Personal history? I’m sure this shows up far more often than I intend for it to. I can’t help but write what I know and let my characters mimic the many people who have graced my life with their blessings and their flaws. I’ve never purposely written a specific person into a story, but I’m sure the characters in my head are an expression of them all.
If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. – David Brin
What about you? If you write, do you slip your own personal information in? Or do you spin the wheel and let it be random?
If you read, have you ever wondered what inspired the author to make a certain character a certain way? Or if a character you loved was modeled after a specific person? Would you like that, or not?
Don’t forget to check out the other great author/bloggers in this Bloghop!
Thanks for coming by The Manic Writer!
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