Thursday, August 21, 2014

The story you don't want to write

Might be the best story you have in you.

Hi there! It's Lisa again.

Has there ever been a story in you that you didn't want to write? A story that no other author could write better than you. I'm talking about a story that's part of you, so entwined in your past that writing it won't be fun. "Well, I'm not interested in writing a memoir, Lisa." Neither am I. I'm talking about giving a character a slice of your life, a small piece of a lifestyle or event you experienced. Then have them do something differently than you did or experience it in a different way. What if they'd had different parents than yours? If you were a boy instead of a girl? Still not making sense? I'll give you an example.
Multiple times, I lived in a trailer park in my youth. It's a lifestyle not comparable to anything else. I don't like recalling those times because it makes me feel less than. But that's the thing. I know how it feels. I know how small your life is while living there; I know the problems that are prevalent there. So, that's why a story set in a trailer park would be the perfect thing for me to do. I can create characters for this trailer park better than most writers. I can create story lines for this setting better than most writers. But I don't want to do it. I'm kicking and screaming the whole way. And I'm doing it.

Do you have a story in you that you don't want to write? Have you written it already? Are you ever?

Caitlin I think I write on some level in order to address those bad or unsavory feelings/issues with myself or my life. If there's something weird about me, I remind myself that if I was boring and "normal" then I wouldn't be a very interesting person or writer, now would I be. If something a little scary or bad happens to me, well, that's just more fodder in the memory bank come time to splay those emotions and experiences on the page.

Karlie: I agree with Caitlin here. I tend to channel those emotions, and usually the characters have it way worse than I did. It's cheap therapy, LOL.

Seriously, it tends to be certain characters I have trouble writing, rather than the story as a whole. I see bits of myself in all of my story people, and sometimes I have to step back from it. In the end, though, I feel better for having gotten it out. They dealt with it, and I did too.

Dan: I may not be as emotionally invested in the writing as you three, but then again, I'm a guy. Some of the characters and conversations I put into my fiction reflect my own experiences. Of course they do! But I'm not the kind of writer who explores his own emotions this way. I'd argue that, like many writers, I inject parts of myself into my characters. More accurately, I often write characters with traits that I aspire to. I make them into better versions of me.

No comments:

Post a Comment