perils with writing and whatnot
As a writer, I’m going to show parts of me in whatever I write. It can’t be helped because, at least for me, it’s a personal pilgrimage. I will show within my work no matter whether I try to hid it or not. I can’t be shallow with my writing. Believe me, I’ve tried and it just ends up as a gooey mess when I try to mask myself.
Still, I do have the ability to decide how much of myself is projected into the finished product of my craft. When working with non-fiction, this task is relatively simple. The subject is there as reality and my only concern is to decide if I show both sides of the issue or just one. If I show both sides, I will have to step back for either one side or the other to give is equal billing in what I write. Sure, in some cases this can be difficult but not impossible.
When writing fiction though, there isn’t any clear case of any two sides, especially if the story is going to be multidimensional. The entire basis of the writing is intertwined with the author’s (my) emotions and experiences. There isn’t a clear-cut way to step back to get a different perception. What I write is going to show who I am whether I want it that way or not.
The protagonist (good guy) is going to have the qualities I admire. The antagonist (bad guy) is going to have the qualities I loath. Let’s face it. I would never write a hero as a drug dealer, and I’d never write a villain as someone who helps the poor.
If you’re writing true to yourself and close to the bone— if you’re writing honestly—all of these things are going to creep into your fiction.
So how much of me am I going to let the readers know?
It’s odd that I’m considered an introvert overall. I mean, most of my life is an open book. Sure, I like isolation and I have a couple of secrets about myself, but off the top of my head, I have a hard time remembering what those secrets are and there are times when I want to gab.
Hmmm… a secret about me…
When I get angry, I had a tendency to “cuss like a sailor”. I think I’d tone that down a bit in anything I write. After all, I have a whole fat dictionary of words to pick from so I’m sure I can find something that will express anger without all the swearing.
When I was in the seventh grade, I had this wonderful English teacher, Mr. Emery. Someplace close to the end of the school year, he had us write some cuss words on paper. Then he gave each one of us a dictionary, and told us to find words that would better express those emotions. All of us were surprised at how many words we could find. His point was to show that the “easy” words rarely are the best to really express oneself.
Even though I grew up during the hippy era, I’m very private when it comes to sex. I don’t think I’ll be expressing my ideas about this subject in any detail when I write. It’s just not me. I’ll hint at it instead. You won’t read anything erotic from me.
There may be other emotions I’d rather hide, but I’ll push my way through on those in hopes of writing a tale worth reading.
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James Edgar Skye
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