Hi all :) Taking a little break from editing to write this. Another busy week for me at work and lots of shoveling, winter sucks :( (at least here way up north in Newfoundland) but I digress. Tonight I thought I'd speak about a writing issue/subject I've thought on a fair bit lately, namely writing what you know and in particular putting yourself in your stories.
First though a message from our sponsors (namely me and Tasha): My book The Newfoundland Vampire will be on in April 2012 (still working hard on editing) and Tasha’s books (the second one I’ve read and highly recommend) are out now.
So when I started writing my book seriously about two years ago (I actually started it way back in 2002) I decided to base the main character, Joseph, largely on myself. I know it's been done but I couldn't resist. You're supposed to write what you know and what better do I know than myself? From the time I was thirteen I imagined what it would be like to be a vampire, so naturally when I wrote a vampire book the easiest way to write the main character was to imagine how he/me would act as a vampire.
I wrote the book initially as a sort of wish fullfillment/diary of what I had done in my life and how I imagined things could have turned out differently. The biggest problem with this idea (that I discovered much later on) is that like most people I don't have a very exciting life. So when you write a vampire's story and not much happens to him for the first 13 chapters or so, well it's not the most exciting read.
I see that now but for a long time I didn't. It's a strange phenomennon that when you write something so personal it feels good (I guess a little therapeutic even) but it takes the perspective of an objective reader to make you realize this does not make an engaging story. (Thanks Pat, I know you're reading this :-)
I became very personally invested in Joseph because so much of him was me that I lost objectivity, this was a mistake I can see now. I wish I had an exciting life like Hemmingway or William Shanter (give the guy credit, he's over 80 and still acting! :) or even Oscar Wilde.
("Picture of Dorian Gray" is amazing) but I'm not like those people (well maybe Shanter a little ;) and I had to make Joseph's adventures exciting and thus gave him some adventures I wish I had (and others I'd never want anyone to experience.)
But hopefully my life will get a little more exciting (I did have a car catch on fire last month) and in the meantime Joseph and my other vampire creations can be vicarious thrills for me and hopefully bring excitinment to those who read them. Until next time dear readers, I am . . .