IWSG: Is that me?
It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means IWSG time!
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
Be sure to drop in on our awesome co-hosts for October: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!
This month's question:
Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?
I'm not 100% sure what's meant here by personal information--I certainly haven't given a character my address and phone number. But are there bits of me in my characters? That's a whole other question.
The simple answer is "yes, of course." JJ MacGregor has my red hair, though it's not as red as mine, and hers frizzes. More to the point, anyone who knows me can see some of my personality in both Big Al (of the Ninja Librarian) and in JJ MacGregor (of the Pismawallops PTA books). In fact, there is probably more of me there than is good, or than I want.
But while my friends and family may exclaim that they totally see me in the characters, it's less clear to me, because the characters are themselves. Maybe it's something like the way you can see yourself in your children. "Oh, wow," you say. "My kid sounds exactly like me when he talks about math!" Or she has your nose, or your hair. But you also look at the kid and you see a unique person, someone whose thoughts and decisions are not all like yours. That's the way I feel about my characters. I'm certainly not JJ, and while I share Big Al's preference for dungarees over skirts, she is truly her own person, and not really so much like me.
Sneakier are the parts of me that are in other characters. I am in the Ninja Librarian, and in JJ's friend Kitty, and maybe even in Ron Karlson (and no, I'm not going to tell you the parts of me I see in them). I hope I'm not in any of the nastier characters, but I suppose a good look would find something of me, because we can't write a character unless we can imagine that person.
But the only place I have deliberately put something of myself into a book is when I had the local librarian on Pismawallops Island reading The Ninja Librarian.
In other news:
I won't be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Since I've been pathetic at trying to finish the revisions of my 2015 novel, I haven't even started revisions (major rewrite, more like) on my 2016 NaNo novel. So no way do I get to start another project. Though once I get Death By Adverb (the Pismawallops PTA murders #3) under control, I've no doubt I'll plan and draft another novel before I tackle beating Gorg's book into shape. I'm also trying to spend a little more time on short fiction, and working on finding the right places to submit some of it. As a result, I may also be doing fewer book reviews, or re-running some of the reviews of books I think could use more attention, just to spare myself a bit of time.