First, Elana and I, as normal, are somewhat in sync with our posts. For the last few days I've been tossing around ideas for my next in depth and totally brilliant post that will just WOW all my followers. Okay, I really didn't think those words, but I have been thinking about the post.
My main idea for the post was . . . how much of yourself do you put in your characters? Quite a few of the blogs lately have delved into this question. Personally, I put something of me in every character I write. Sometimes, the me I put into the characters is the me I might have been had I been more active in a situation, or done this instead of that or whatever! Sometimes the me is very close in nature as to who I've become throughout the years.
In my current WIP, I'm delving into the dysfunctional nature of my family. Say what??? Say what if . . . instead of remaining silent at the pivotal moment in time I (or rather my MC) voiced their opinions? What if . . . instead of turning left at the stop sign that day, my MC turned right? How different would his/her life have been? What if . . . said MC confronted all the people in his/her life who did him/her wrong? What if . . . the fateful night the MC met his current boyfriend/girlfriend never happened? What if . . . said MC followed his instinct and . . . ??
So, my current WIP deals with many of the issues that happened in my life, but on the what if premise, rather than the reality premise. I'm delving into deep,dark places that are emotionally draining (and yet somehow cathartic) to write. The endless conversations in my mind are pouring out onto the computer screen. The doubts and fears - EVERYTHING - are the basis for my current WIP.
Have you done something similiar? Have you taken an experience from your life and incorporated it into your writing, but changed it to have a different outcome? You see, that's the fun of writing. With fingers poised over the keyboard, my mind racing, I can explore the what ifs of every moment of my life, and perhaps - kudos to Elana for her post Thursday - the future moments as well.
I can invest as much or little of me as I want in the characters. I can dream up fantastic events that will - hopefully in some instances - never happen to me, but happen to my characters. I can alter the events of my life and provide a different outcome. I can - as I do when I read - live vicariously through my characters.
Lastly - do I wish for a different life than I have? Heck, no. I have a great life, good friends, and family, and a partner who loves to do yardwork, the laundry, and vacuum. Now, if I could just get him to do everything else, then I'd be a really happy camper. Still, life happens, as it happens, and if (as I stated on Elana's blog - in different words, btw) my future self came back and told me not to date so and so, well, then, this, that, never happened, well, I might have to do my own laundry and vacuum. I seriously prefer not to have to do those things. I'm just saying . . .
The above picture is of our former office cat Ghost (as in the Grey Ghost, The Phantom). He was a stray we slowly tamed (obviously) and had for a few years before we finally adopted out. As you can see, he was quite comfortable in the office. Many a day I had that cat curled up in my lap while I worked. Ah, such is life!