I am by nature a wide-open person and it takes a lot of conscious self-control not to blurt out too much information. “Save it for your fiction,” I keep telling myself. “Use all this stuff in characterization.”
The problem with that is, when someone finally reads one of my stories, I fear I will hurt them when they read too much into a character that they think comes from them. I will use a piece of one person and mix it with the piece of another, and throw in a large chunk of myself. So, I’m never actually writing ABOUT a real person in a character. Just some things gleaned off the top.
Like right now, I’m using parts of Maddles (surprise, Madeleine!) in my current story — just things gleaned off of her Xanga writings — because I need a portrait of a young woman going through a lot of self-trials. I chose her because I’ve been reading her for quite a while and she is an incredible writer, and she blends a lot of reality with fantasy in her Xanga, to the point where I never know if I should be seriously worried about her, or if she’s just doing a superb job with character.
But, I don’t really know her, we’ve never met, and I don’t know much about her in real life. Sometimes I suspect she’s actually a famous Austrailian rocker who has a common college girl alter-ego blog. So, anyway, the character will not really be her, only inspired by her writings, and then altered to fit the needs of my story.
Funny, when I started this post I intended to write about something completely different. This tangent just took over. It must mean it’s important, somehow.