Worrying about People Seeing Themselves in Your Work

hollybarbo author, the creative process Leave a Comment

In many ways I wish I had started this blog earlier in my writing process. The writer feedback is wonderful and often gets me to looking at things from a new perspective. I recently got into a blog chat about worrying about what people would think. Would they assume that I wrote them as a particular character.. and may-be they wouldn’t appreciate the view.

I can relate to the question. Early on I realized that for one character, I was taking a bit of my step mom – blending it with a woman I knew then smoothing out the rough edges so the character was more palatable. (:  The point is that the character is a composite and frankly I don’t believe either of these people would see themselves. Many aren’t self analytical. I decided to let it go as it was developing.

There was also a point where one of my characters made a statement to another that said, in essence, “If they accept me, they will accept you because you are my friend.” I had a moment of doubt about that because in my life that hasn’t always been true and some of my family might relate to how important that statement was. Then again I shrugged because they probably wouldn’t catch it. What I wrote was more important to me on a personal level. The comment wasn’t such that it stood out in blazing letters! What I am trying to say is that as a writer we agonize over things that many won’t notice because as we weave them they are just part of the fabric of the story.

Writing can be very therapeutic for us. I once saw a T-shirt that said, “Don’t piss off a writer… You may become a character in their book!” At that particular time I was doing exactly that! It made me laugh.

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