Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pieces Of An Author

Posted by Bethany at December 02, 2009
Good Morning All,

There's this saying I've seen on different items for sale in catalogs and I think it's hysterical. It says: "Be careful or else you'll end up in my next book" I love that. I think it's perfect for writers.

I have a pin that says something like "Romance Authors Do It Write". And I've seen other slogans like that.

How "careful" does the world actually have to be about authors? Well, that depends on who the author is, the genre, and exactly what makes the author's mind go "Yes! There's an idea!"

For me if I hear something particularly funny or witty I might file it away for later...or I might not use it at all.

The interesting thing about writers existing in a world full of all different types of people, circumstances and situations is that it gives us immense fuel for our imaginations.

Some of us thrive on the more realistic possibilities; while others, like myself, focus on the less realistic, and more fantastical ideas. (Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Fairytales, you get the picture).

However, regardless of the writer's genre, that writer gets inspired somehow. Something, someone does, writes, or says might cause the writer's little inspirational bug to bite.

Sometimes it's another story. Sometimes it's someone closest to the writer. Sometimes it's a stranger.

But in the end, the writer puts his or her own spin on it.

For example:

Someone once said in a comment regarding Stephenie Meyer that "it has Mormon undertones."

Well, I guess I don't really know enough about the Mormon Church to pick up on that, but my response is, "Okay, so? What do you expect? She IS Mormon."

Every writer puts a piece of him or herself in their writing...whether intentionally or unintentionally. They can't help it. The story is being written by them regardless of what character is telling it. Somewhere, somehow that story is going to have a small piece of that writer's personality, life, or background in there. The trick is, how well do you know that author's background to pick up on it?

Nicholas Sparks freely admits that A Walk To Remember is based off his sister's life. Therefore, how much is him or his sister in there, might be key to unlocking undertones and a voice that may not be the loudest in the story, but still exists. Likewise, he also has said that The Notebook is based off his wife's parents' story. So again, depending on how well a reader knows about these situations, he or she might be able to find the piece of Nicholas Sparks (or his family) that exists inside the tales.

Sure, outside things can inspire us. And as many other authors like Nicholas Sparks have proven, other people can inspire us...but always somewhere in that inspiration exists the author him or herself.

While the brain is clicking everything into place and the inspiration is in high gear, the writer also leaves behind something of him or herself somewhere in the story.

For me, it's often my nutty sense of humor. I like to have a comedic character. That's sort of my trademark, my own slogan, m.o., whatever you want to call it. (although, not every story of mine has one at present. The character might come later or only be talked about...or never show up at all...but most of my finished, or nearly finished novels have at least one comedic character).

What pieces of yourself do you leave in your story? Is it obvious or does a reader have to really pay attention to find that piece?

Have A Wealthy* Wednesday!

*Wealthy as in working well, inspiration, whatever makes you feel rich or enriched :-)



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