So, I am sitting here thinking about the stories swirling in my head and I think about the characters on the screen. No, not the letters I am typing, but the living, breathing people who populate my books. When writing, I think everyone draws upon their own life. Writers, be it poets, short stories, or epic novels; ALWAYS draw from personal experience. We may not even realize it sometimes, but there are subtle aspects of ourselves and our lives evident in our work.
I use an example of characters in my book. Mike is a conglomerate of several people including a little of myself. His friends, are loosely based on real people I know, I even changed some of the names to protect the innocent. HA HA… Ok, well, I changed a few names, not many. I wanted to take aspects of the stereotypical high school experience, and give them a fantastical quality. Really, what high schooler wouldn’t enjoy being able to see the future. Exams? Ha, child’s play.
In my opinion, this makes things all the more real. I empathize with Mike’s plight as I never would have wanted to be thrust into the limelight in high school. I was above average grades and also enjoyed the relative obscurity of my close knit group of friends. I am still a rather private person to this day with very few close friends. I feel I would have struggled with the responsibility of having this ability to see the future, and then acting to save people, as Mike does throughout the novel. His struggles would be very real to me when I was in high school. The spotlight was never my friend.
The plots and intrigues we writers put our characters through can help us work through issues in our own life that we may have never even known we had. I think our subconscious can and often does take over, pushing our writing in a direction to illustrate universal truths and help us to overcome difficulties in our lives. Love, loss, fortune and failure: all subjects that can reveal inner secrets we didn’t know we were keeping from ourselves.
I guess what I am saying is that writing has helped me to put myself out there in a way that I never did growing up. Do not be afraid to put a few lines on paper, or on a screen, or even on the back of a napkin whenever the muse strikes. You could just be sitting on something that cracks the shell you have been hiding behind and help you even learn something about yourself.