Monday, June 17, 2013

Personal Parallels in my Stories

Hello, hello, hello! I'm writing this post between camp and dance class, so it'll be a one-shot deal.* Forgive any typos or awkward phrasing.

“How have both the people in your life and your own personal experiences impacted your writing? Do you ever base characters off of people you know?

One of my problems with writing is that I often tend to base things too closely off my own personal experiences.  I tend to do this more in NaNoWriMo than I do any other times. For example, "Quick! I need to figure out the layout of Helen's school!" "Well, just use the layout of your own school." Or, more often, "Aaaah, I need a new background character!" "Just take this trait from your little brother and make her a more subdued version of friend B, then give her the first name of that one girl you dance with and the last name of that boy in your Honors English class."**

When I actually plan major characters, at least one is always inspired by someone in my real life. Now, the biggest mistake I ever made with this was with my 2012 NaNo. My main character, Helen, (who I will say now, is nothing like me) had a best friend, Adi, that was inspired by one of my very best friends in the world. Now, personality-wise, Adi is nothing like my friend. What they share, though, is that they both have a twin brother and Adi struggles with depression. Now, Adi quickly became disconnected with my friend in my head as I was planning. 

Of course, one of the major plot points was Adi committing suicide. I didn't associate it with my friend until I got to writing that scene, but I sat there at the computer typing by feel because my eyes were streaming with tears. Not only because of connection to the character, but because I was scared. I was writing in first person from Helen's perspective, and it all just felt too real. It's a terribly written scene, because I was too overwhelmed to write it well. 

I actually think that this specific scene is why I haven't been working on novels as much this winter and spring.*** It scared me so much that I'm having a hard time writing more stories like that. I've continued blogging and writing poetry, but I need to muster up the courage to give noveling another try, and not be frightened. 

But, dear reader, consider yourself warned. Don't base characters who die off your friends, even very vaguely, or you will be scared away from writing for a good six months. 


Wow, what started off as a trivial post turned into something... deep.**** I hope you aren't too scared of me now. :)*****

Farewell, lovely readers! Take a cookie for the road. 



*Actually, I ended up finishing this after dance class, but I need to go take a shower and go to bed, so it's still not getting edited. Sorry I'm not sorry
**And yes, I really do talk to myself like this. Actually, it's often more condescending. 
***Wait, is spring over already? Isn't it still the end of April?
****This sentence is really awkward. Actually, this whole post is really awkward. 
*****Ugh, did I really just use a smiley-face in my blog post? And now these notes look like I'm swearing. Better end them soon.

June Blog Chain Participants:
26th – (We’ll be announcing the topic for next month’s chain.)

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