Charlotte Dixon said: A Fish said:
Boozers. I can write forever about boozers. I rarely drink, but somehow it's the addled personalities that pour out of my pen. I'm addicted to writing about the addicted, apparently. Hey, maybe that can be a character!Certainly, Charlotte, people with particular, haunting problems can pop up again and again in our stories, particularly if there's something we want to say about that problem that we haven't gotten right yet. It's funny that it's boozers who appear for you, yet you yourself aren't one. Definitely, addiction is a recurring theme in literature. You can read a lot of David Foster Wallace's work with an eye for his fixation on addiction (though he was a recovering addict himself).
After the jump: more responses to your comments!
My mother, my sister, her children and different versions of me show up a lot in all of my work. There was a boy in my 7th grade class who died at age 12. He haunts me, and I have written several pieces about him.I totally hear you, Daneeta. I definitely find that altered versions of my family members keep popping up in my stories. Or at the very least, the problems I've seen them face appear again and again. I think it's because we know these people better than anyone else, so naturally they're the best, most well-researched material we've got to work with.
And it's so interesting that the 12-year-old boy haunts your stories. In that case, it is literally a ghost that haunts your work. Definitely, experiences like that tend to leave lasting impressions on us. One professor of mine had a sibling who died when she was young, and she told us that that sibling continued to live in her work again and again.
Aden Wells said:
I have had this happen a ton before. Most of my protagonists tend to be very cynical. I always seem to take bits and pieces of my own personality that is more internal and shed light on it through my stories. I've also joined in the use of friends or family members for inspiration. I really love how, sometimes when you read about a certain character, you can tell it was based on a real person. It always makes the best characters.Great observation, Aden! I do think some of the great characters in fiction probably had a lot to do with real characters. And I absolutely agree that a fragmented self sometimes appears on the page, with parts of different people we know showing up in collages of characters. It's these specific things that make a character come to life, so we should use them as freely as we can. It's also interesting to see how a real character isn't a one-note, one-dimensional structure: there are so many pieces that go into a real person.
That week I also wrote a post about writing about love lost. Here's one nice response from Bruce:
I've been dying to compose a love lost piece. It always ends up too close to reality so I'm afraid to go public with it. But man, I've got a great one welled up inside of me. Just need to figure out how to change it enough without losing the raw energy of it. So, thanks for the suggestion.Happy to help, Bruce! It's always nice to hear someone ready to write on a suggestion I've put up, because those inspiration posts are written for exactly that purpose -- providing inspiration. Thanks to all for your comments, and keep your eye on the Corner for more responses every Wednesday.