Do we write in order to fulfill fantasies and experience what we will never face in reality? Do we write to make sense of past problems or heal old wounds? Or do we simply enjoy the idea of playing God and watching the characters we create become a better version of themselves?
Me?… Well, I have had a pretty amazing life up to this point so there aren’t many scars to mend and the few crazy encounters I’ve had, I prefer to forget. So, that’s not why I write.
Fantasy fulfillment? A chance to play God? Well… maybe.
Why ask these questions in a blog post about how much of ME I put into my writing? Because how much of me exists within my characters and story worlds kind of depends on why I put them there, to begin with, doesn’t it? And for me, I believe it comes down to the pure joy of putting something to paper that previously only existed in imagination. It’s reminiscent of playtime as a kid. (But let’s not forget kids play to learn and make sense of their world…)
There is always a piece of me in everything I write but just like my kids are not ME simply because I am their mother, my characters and stories are not autobiographical either. Other factors in my life help to influence, shape and create what ends up on the page, sprinkled with a lifelong interest in psychology and astrology. (Odd mix, I know.)
Inevitably, I know myself best so I will take quirks, hobbies, experiences from my own life and sprinkle them into my story. For example, headaches are a big thing for me. I started getting migraines when I was in elementary school with intense pain and vomiting. That sort of experience is not only uncomfortable but interferes significantly with daily life. My main character in the novel, The Between World, suffers from this same infliction but in her case, it is an unfortunate side effect of psychic abilities. (If only I could say the same…) It was an experience I felt I could write even if the reasons for it differed.
I like to think of my characters as friends I’ve never met. When I sit down to write I ask myself who is this person living in the story world I’ve established and why would she do what I’m asking her to do? Will her personality resemble mine? Probably. Would I do the same in her situation? Not necessarily.
If the character doesn’t interest me or I don’t care about the world in which she lives, I have no reason to follow her. I’m human and let’s face it, as humans, we tend to be drawn to others who share something in common with us. Shared experience is often the foundation of new friendships.
So yes, I suppose you will find ME in varying degrees in every story I write. I hope that’s a good thing. 🙂
Thanks for checking out my post in this week’s challenge. Hop over to the MFRW52 Challenge page or click on the Linky Tools below for the complete list of participating authors.
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