Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mystical Journey of Writing & Are you in my Novel?

Writing is a mystical journey. 

Whether I’m at the post office, a parade, shopping, visiting family or friends, I’m constantly watching, observing and taking notes in my mind. Writers often say, “Be careful, you may end up in my novel.” There is a bit of truth in that statement, but my characters are created completely in my mind. 

The true writer is more of a medium. They are like a conduit for the people they write about. My characters speak through me, using my voice, my body, my mind, to tell their story. They may have a few traits, habits or actions of people I’ve met in my life, but they are never the same as anyone I’ve ever known.

“Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice 
                            and I'll tell you a story.”  
                               F. Scott Fitzgerald

I've had a few people that are certain that some of the characters are based on them. That’s not true, but it is possible that they can see parts of their personalities or traits in one of my characters. And I’m sure there are bits of me in some of them too. 

Visions of Evil has settings in several places that are near where I’ve lived or visited in the past. The Nebraska ranch, the Denver area, San Diego and Sedona. Jake Tansey, is a sick creep, that unfortunately, I’ve know different sides of him in real life. The main story line for him, however, was taken from a true crime between Del Mar and La Jolla, CA. I couldn’t have made that part up.      

I've always been enthralled by the settlers who came west in the 1800’s or before. It was a tough trip and a rough life even after they reached their destination. And women, especially, were pitted against great odds. I hope when you read Visions of Evil, you will see the underlying strength in Pearl, Lulu and the others. Did their particularly hell really happen? Yes, the characters told me it did.

Visions of Rodeo, my next novel, is another story of a survival. The characters have told me their tale, both male and female. Ty is a jewel of a man who suffered terrible consequences. Rodeo, begins as a vulnerable, sweet teen and then her life, as she known it, is changed forever. I’m blessed that these two characters were channeled into 
                                          my mind. They now feel like friends.  

There are shades of truth in every novel/story, but not necessarily my truths. The thoughts and ideas, observations, come from minds of people who are often very different from me. I can’t take responsibility for them.    “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” ― Stephen King

Once I had someone contact me stating that one of my stories was critical of the physically challenged. I never understood that comment. What do readers bring to the reading of my novels and short stories? I’ll never know, but I believe whatever it is, influences their interpretation of what they read, differently from others.

I try to keep my mind and heart open to all my characters. Yes, even the awful ones. But ultimately, they are responsible for themselves. Of course, some of my beliefs, inspirations, observations, memories, my research and knowledge, are weaved into the pages, but what I write is not all from me. And that’s the truth about all fiction.  

Of course it might still happen that someone thinks a certain character might be about them. The name starts with the same letter as their own name, they drive the same car, talk or walk the same way. These are simple coincidences. Really! 

Except you. Yes, you. You know who you are. You're going to be so sorry for the things you once said, the things you never did.  And the whole world is going to read about it. I'm kidding!    Then again...

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