Before I rant, I shall say, a few subjects she wants to bring up made me think...especially a side character who had maybe three lines of dialogue and little significance to me at all. But we've gotten to know each other over several months, so maybe there's something in there.
Then there's the opinions of total strangers....
Let the rant commence:
I know most of you following this blog are writers. How many times do random people automatically assume one of your main characters is you? And doesn't it get irritating?
One of my main characters is a cheerful, fearless rock star with supernatural powers.
Another is a timid psychic who wants to be a counselor.
Another is a cynical, foul mouthed, beer swilling mechanic.
Another is an emotionally beaten down historical romance author.
And the list goes on.
But every time I describe one of these or any other female character, (which I think is odd, I mean, I identify with Harry and Harold better in the movies, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and HAROLD AND MAUDE...though Maude's my hero) ...anyway, someone always asks or states, "Is that you?"
NO! But...parts of me are. I always wanted to sing and play music. I used to be a mechanic. I worked as a caregiver for 5 years, and I am an author. I have been emotionally beaten down (who hasn't?). I can be fearless. I can be cheerful. I can be cynical.
As Stephen King said, (paraphrased) "there's a bit of me in every character," but none are me.
Really, I don't think it would be possible to write myself into a book anymore than to write someone else in one. People are too complex. I'll elaborate further in the next post.
Speaking of Stephen King... A friend told me she refused to read him anymore after reading MISERY. For those behind the times, it's about a famous author held hostage by a crazed fan demanding he write a sequel to a series in which the heroine died.
My friend took the story as an essay on how he felt about his fans. She thinks he hates us all. As a writer, I took it as the usual "What if" situation that comes to all writers.
Maybe Sai King started out with "What if," But in ON WRITING he bared his soul and told what he really meant: The crazed fan, Annie Wilkes, was actually a symbol for the torment of drug and alcohol addiction King was suffering at the time. "...and I was sick of being Annie's pet writer," he said.
Which goes to show you: The truth in fiction isn't usually what you think.