Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Writing about yourself

(source: familyfoundationsltd.org)

The conventional fiction writing wisdom out there is to "write what you know", and this is true. Some people, however, interpret this to mean they should write about themselves.  One thing to know, though, is that writing about yourself or your family is actually harder than making up a character.  The reason is that when you write about yourself, your life, or people you know, usually you feel bound to keep within the parameters of what you know about that person.  Your creativity may be inhibited because you are locked into a character that you already "know".  This can stifle your whole novel, and affect a character driven plot.  So if you do write about yourself, keep this in mind and don't be afraid to explore characteristics that may be more exciting for your characters than the actual person.  Don't be afraid to exaggerate.  It may help to write a character sketch of the real person, and then write another one of a fake person, and then meld them together.  These are just some ideas I used when writing about my own family.  Write what you know, but don't limit yourself.  Make sure your characters are as interesting as they can be so they can drive your plot forward in a fresh way.

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