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Monday, February 25, 2013

Does Your Fiction Influence You?

It's futile to argue that we don't write what we know. Characters pop up in fiction based on real people. Settings are used because we ourselves were there and thought, "Hey! This would be awesome in a novel!" Fictional events happen to our characters that are inspired by real life events that happened to us or someone we know. (Especially for first novels!)

I dare you to refute this.

However, I'm interested in the flip side of this phenomenon.

I believe that when we write, we usually write better versions of ourselves or others. We write how we wish we had handled something, what we wish we had said to a romantic interest, etc.

Have you ever been influenced by your fiction? Have you ever found yourself responding to an event and thinking, "My main character would have said/done that." Were you able to pat yourself on the back because the fictional version of you rocked a situation for the better?

Or did researching a certain job or hobby for one of your characters end up convincing you to take up that hobby? What about a charity your character championed? Did you start supporting the same charity as a result?

I'm debating on formulating a new writer's quiz, and based on the comments I receive, I'll know better how to word the questions, so don't be shy!

Let's Analyze

How has your fiction writing influenced your real life?


Anonymous said...
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JPG said...

This is going to sound strange, but I used to believe in a phenomenon I called synchronization back in my high school years as an online RPer. I felt that when my characters were depressed, I would get depressed.

While I don't doubt that there is some connection and correlation between my chars' moods, I don't think that how I viewed this phenomenon was entirely sound.

First of all, it was hard to differentiate who got depressed first. Sometimes it would clearly be my character, but the character is basically a limb of myself at the point this started happening. and sometimes, it would be the reverse, I would spill my feelings into the character.

my character was not 100% a self-insert, but there is truth that we put a bit of ourselves into everything we write.

I do know two things that happened as a result of creating my flagship character, a female martial artist of sorts.

1. I started appreciating the strength of women, despite being a male. I wasn't sexist before this change, but I was somewhat oblivious to the trials of the other sex. This opened my eyes.

2. I started to use her strength, her tenacity, to fuel myself. How could I claim I created her if I didn't show this strength in myself? I may not be the epitome of fitness in any sense of the word, but there was an inner strength and fire she had. I think I'm better because of it.

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.