Everything you write is always going to be somewhat autobiographical because everything you write comes from you, and your brain! One time this pretty famous author, who I won’t name, came and did a talk at UNC and said that he never took anything from his own life and put it into his stories. Afterwards, my whole class agreed that was total bs. Your life will influence your writing in ways that you don’t even realize—and this guy’s stories mostly took place in the neighborhood of the city where he grew up!
Even if you’re writing about an alternate universe a million years in the future, some of your life is going to pervade the characters or the events that take place or which themes you decide to focus on. I’m sure tons of characters in LOTR are similar to people Tolkien knew in real life (actually, does anyone know anything about this, specifically?), and that a lot of the themes in those books are based somewhat on things Tolkien felt passionate about outside of his writing, too.
What I find happens to me is that I take elements from my life and shake them up—so I’ll combine the traits of two or three people I know into one character, or an event that happened to me when I was seven will happen to one of my characters when he’s thirteen. It’s like I take all of my memories and opinions and the people I know and put them in a blender and out comes a story.
Woof I’m having a hard time articulating myself this morning, so does anyone else have any more advice for findingakindoflife on separating your writing from the events of your own life?
I think from now on I’m just gonna answer every ask with “Reread Harry Potter and see how JK Rowling did it.”
I mean honestly thats probably way better advice than what I usually say.
I’m surprised to say I’m actually loving it. And this week’s episode totally had a writer message! If you haven’t watched it yet I guess there are some spoilers sooo read more under the cut.
Oh, also, forgot to reference that we talked about this topic (sort of) before:
^This is what I was trying to say haha.
do you ever think about how weird reading is
our eyes are able to scan these different symbols and construct the scenarios and concepts they describe in our mind
and these concepts have the power to twist our emotions and make us cry and laugh and wow reading is weird
Is it really important to you that this planet isn’t supposed to be Earth? Because it sounds like it would be more beneficial to you if it was Earth, just way way in the future. Then you could reference real people.
I don’t think it’d be cheap to make up names at all, but they won’t serve any purpose as a reference to how intelligent your characters are if they don’t mean anything to your readers. The only thing you could do is make up different names for Earth historical people and events—like change all the names of the Greek gods and call them the XYZ gods but keep all of their stories the same.
But I would just make in Earth in the future, if it was me.
Anyone have anything to add?
Prompt by kimberleymarie:
Write about a parent/adult who has just shaken a baby out of anger or frustration. What were the circumstances? What is the outcome? Is the child injured? Try to explore the feelings of the shaker - do they feel remorse, anger, fear?