I can’t remember the exact age this happens--probably 3 or 4--but at some point we all become aware of our nakedness. It’s no longer all right to run around the house in our birthday suits. Mom and Dad aren’t allowed to give us a bath anymore. In our civilized world, we learn at a very young age to cover ourselves.

What does this have to do with writing fiction?

How much of yourself are you willing to show? Do your feelings about life, death, love, hate, jealousy, indifference, rage, honesty, courage, etc. end up on the page? How much of yourself do you put in you characters?

Do you hold back a bit, covering your naked soul with at least a fig leaf, or do you let it all hang out? Are you embarrassed for people to “see” you?

Or, can you dance like nobody’s watching?

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I don't want to make people throw up - I once went to answer the door to the postman when I was practically naked and he ran off screaming. I wonder if that's why I haven't had any post for 3 years.

I hope that my characters show themselves, but even the one who is MOST like me, is still not me. Even though my brother is convinced otherwise. Actually, if I wrote a character that was totally based on me it would put people to sleep in about 8 nanoseconds.

When I read books by authors I know, I do see them in their characters and sometimes I hear their voice. Jack Taylor sounds just like Ken Bruen, Billy Nichols sounds just like Eddie Muller, Munch Mancini sounds like Barbara Seranella. And I know there are parts of them in those characters, but Jack is not Ken, Billy's not Eddie and Munch is not Barbara. On the other hand, there are some characters who I never see anything of their creators in. Bruen's Brant for example. I never see Ken or hear his voice...he's just Brant. I've never envisaged Al Guthrie as a conjoined twin, or a psychopath...well...not often, anyway :o)

Well, that didn't answer the question did it? Sorry!
Hi Donna: I didn't mean to suggest that fictional characters should be autobiographical in any way. I was just wondering how other writers approach subject matter that they otherwise wouldn't show, say, their parents. Does Mom and Dad (or your S.O. or whomever) ever creep into your brain and say, "You can't write that!"?
Ah, then yes. My mum tells me I shouldn't write about sex, violence, swear, or do anything remotely interesting! Does it stop me? No. I just tell her not to read my stuff :o). After my Dad googled me (jeez, what a horrible thought!) and my Mum read the prologue of my book on the internet she had to have a stiff sherry "Donna, what WILL the neighbours say? I was so proud when you said you had written a book and told everyone - now they are going to think your father and I are a pair of devil worshipping, pet rabbit-killing alcoholics." So no, if I let my mum dictate what wrote, I would be writing poems about kittens, or crochet manuals. She wanted a special copy of my book for her local town, with all the swear words blacked out. I had a tough job explaining to her that that's not how the publishing industry works :o)

So it's safer just not to let her read anything else. Although since I sent her some porn site once (accidentally, I hasten to add) I think her horizons have broadened!
I don't know...

I understand kitten poems and crochet manuals are hot right now. ;)
So there's my long-lost twin! Nice t'meetcha, finally. ;)

We have the same parents. are close facsimilies thereof. I think I've broken them in with this book, though. My dad still won't read it but then, I'd just as soon he didn't. (Oh, he'll probably read it later but not tell me.)

I force myself to go to the truth of the story, character-wise, no matter how awkward that may end up being for me, personally, if that's what the story needs and the character would do.
I think that's what we have to do, Toni. Find the truth and not worry about what other folks might think.
I know what you mean, Joe. I love it when my characters come up with "zingers," those clever verbal comebacks that most people wouldn't dare use in real life.
i know two people who write in the nude.
Got pics, Anne? Only if they're female, of course. ;)
Whatever floats your boat I guess, Jon. LOL!
I guess I figure if I mine other people's lives, it's only fair for me to mine my own. Sometimes I write about actual things that I have experienced (though less often, only because it's hard to achieve distance enough to be creative). More often, I write about things intrinsic to me. Like one character in my novel was very sheltered as a child - I was too.

Incidentally, most of my "graphic" scenes or stories are based on my worst fears. So that's one way of putting myself out there without putting too much out, you know?
I think using your fears is great, Christa.


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