When you write fiction, is is always your own experience?

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  1. profile image0
    Sophia Angeliqueposted 11 years ago

    Over the years, I've often been told that the things I write in fiction are the things I think and believe. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I have a murderer as a rogue, I do not draw on my own experience. What I do is read endless books on the topic and then insert that knowledge when I write about my character.

    Would you say that the characters you write about are all a composite of who you are?

    Or would you say that the characters don't resemble who you are at all?

    Or would you say it's a composite of both?

    1. waynet profile image67
      waynetposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know actually. This question has really made me think as I've never really though about it. I was writing the other day and the story was a very daft adventure of a disabled Hamster trying to win the prize at a local dance competition and after having re-read that story a lot of the Hamsters personality reminds me of myself....just daft to the core and quite possibly a bit mental!

      So maybe I do write subconsciously re-using my own experiences within my own stories serious or otherwise!

    2. lobobrandon profile image88
      lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hmm good question. I'm just one chapter through my book and I wish I was the person in my book big_smile

    3. leroy64 profile image68
      leroy64posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting question.  I know that painters and designers almost always feel that they put a piece of themselves into projects.  I had assumed that writers did something similar with the characters and the atmosphere the characters are in.  I am still kind of new at writing, so I am following this forum.

      1. profile image0
        Sophia Angeliqueposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        leroy64, yes, I think writers do put 'something' of themselves into all their writing. In other words,they draw from their own experience as much as they imagine things, and draw from the experience of the world around them.

        My question had to do with something that is misunderstood by some - that all the writer's work is a reflection of who the writer is in terms of the writer's character and beliefs. That's simply not true! People who write crime novels aren't murderers. People who write fantasy aren't necessarily dragons, etc... smile

        I think you raise a very good question of whether readers put more of themselves into a book than writers do. I think that may well be true.

        One of the big mistakes of newbie writers is to put more of themselves into the book and create life as it plays out minute by minute.. However, this is not what readers respond to. Readers respond to quick moving  (which means shortened), slightly colored (not over colored) narrative. That leaves them room to imagine the rest...

        1. leroy64 profile image68
          leroy64posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you.  This clears up some things for me.

    4. KeithTax profile image73
      KeithTaxposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      All characters in my fiction are just that, fiction. I never have a real person in mind when developing a character. Each character is developed based on their role in the story. Could you image if I had characters based on real people or myself in my erotica stories? Yikes!

      1. leroy64 profile image68
        leroy64posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That concept is a little difficult for me to wrap my head around.  I wonder if the reader puts more of himself into the character than the author?

    5. profile image0
      mts1098posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I would lean towards there is no relationship between my fiction hubs and my real life

    6. profile image63
      in4mativeposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I think that in my experience the characters that I understand might well be an aspect of myself. My method of filling out the character is based on conjecture and reasoning.

      1. profile image0
        Sophia Angeliqueposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        That's pretty good! smile No mistakes made in the character build up that way. smile

  2. readytoescape profile image60
    readytoescapeposted 11 years ago

    I think much depends on type of story you’re writing. In my novel, The Shopkeeper, many of the the characters are composites and/or caricatures of real people I know or have observed. Some uses are just descriptions of physical attributes and/or are exaggerated behaviors both positive and negative. Other aspects and characters are purely drawn from the imagination.

    On the other hand a portion of the overall theme may be an extension of the writer’s core beliefs. For example I employ in my novel a quote in the front matter that is intended to convey to the reader an overall theme.

    The quote I use in the book is: “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

    This was a choice to use however it also is a concept I believe in.

  3. profile image0
    Sophia Angeliqueposted 11 years ago

    So what I'm picking up here is that it's different for everybody. Interesting. This definitely means that the general belief that a writer can be viewed through the story s/he writes is not true. smile

  4. sjwigglywoo profile image68
    sjwigglywooposted 11 years ago

    I think what ever you write has some of your own personality in there somewhere. More often than not I write or include personal experiences I just can't help it, whether this is a good or bad thing I'm not sure.

  5. ItsMrsWalker profile image58
    ItsMrsWalkerposted 11 years ago

    I never intentionally write my own experiences in a fictional story, but I'm sure some of my own flavor gets in there anyway! At the same time, I  like to write characters that I wish I could be, so in a way I guess I am writing my experiences, only I'm writing them as I wish they could be.

    1. profile image0
      Sophia Angeliqueposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      In other words, ItsMrsWalker, you're using your imagination! That's what I do as well...

      1. ItsMrsWalker profile image58
        ItsMrsWalkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Is that what we call it? I think I need a break from this keyboard smile

        1. profile image0
          Sophia Angeliqueposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, that's what one calls it. To imagine something is the trademark of all creative people - I think. smile

          1. ItsMrsWalker profile image58
            ItsMrsWalkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Sometimes I get so used to it being work that I forget there are better ways to look at it!

  6. Eric Calderwood profile image71
    Eric Calderwoodposted 11 years ago

    When I write fiction I add character traits (and sometimes events) from myself and from people I have known or observed.  But I am never writing about those people I am writing about fictional characters, so I am wonderfully free to change things, mix and match traits, and just plain make stuff up.  That is the way it should be, and that is why writing is so much fun.

  7. leni sands profile image68
    leni sandsposted 10 years ago

    My ideas generally spring from an initial experience and develop from there.

    I am currently writing my first crime novel 'WATCHING & WAITING" which has been born out of an experience earlier on this year.  My idea became my synopsis and I am gradually working through each chapter with no real idea of where it is going at the moment even though I sort of know the outcome.  Am I the heroin in the story?  Probably not I wouldn't be that brave though I wish I was!  I currently have about six chapters - the synopsis plus four chapters are here on hubpages as separate hubs while I work on my ideas - so it really is still in the development stage.

    My other novel 'Dead Memories, Shattered Lives' is currently sitting on the back boiler because it is autobiographical and quite hard to turn into fiction - yes I am the person the story is about most of which is true with slight embelishment.   So far I have a synopsis and ten chapters but am not at a stage to start sharing much more than the synopsis.  That has been about ten years in the writing and might take several more years before I can share.


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