Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Are you a character in my novel?

If I had a cocktail for every person who's asked me if they are in one of my stories I'd be in the gutter. Wait... I'm already in the gutter. Oh well.

But seriously, I find it interesting that so many people seem to want to be written about. It's not like I'm John Irving (sad face) and it would actually be cool to be someone he'd find interesting enough to want to write about. Because isn't it in a way a little bit flattering if someone were to turn you into one of their characters?

Someone asked me recently if he was in my novel, and I had to say yes, you kind of are. But luckily I didn't have to elaborate as I'd already gotten him drunk by then. I kid!

But it set me thinking about this.

It's interesting to me in particular because the main reason I got stuck two months or so ago when I decided to change my protagonists around is because I can't imaging a writer writing about someone they are really close to, writing as in stealing someone's entire personality, fictionalize them and sticking them in a novel. Quirks, mannerisms, likes, dislikes, dress-sense, jobs, names, even things people say (thanks Jason!) but not lifting a person from real life and base an entire character on that person.

I think most of my writing is to a large extent autobiographical. I discussed this with the cameo man who said he thought fiction was more autobiographical than autobiographies. I mean, how can I write if I don't draw on my own experiences and feelings to then imagine what someone else might feel or do? Which is why real people sometimes slip in - they are part of my life. And therefore also connected to that which I am thinking about. I think, for me at least, when I write I sink myself into my characters and their situations. Whereas in an autobiography you have to take a step back and look at your life and tell the story from the outside even though you were part of it, because it's based on fact. At least that's what I think - feel free to disagree.

I have a saying: don't piss me off or I'll put you in one of my stories. But this is something completely different, this is about slander (should I be careful?) or blowing off some steam and write bad things about someone you don't like or if someone's annoyed you (hey, maybe I should stick a molesting Unruly Prof in the novel). Not that I would ever do that of course.

So are you in my novel? Well, you'll just have to wait and buy a copy when it's published, won't you?

No comments:

Post a Comment