Real Unreal Character Tangent Gone Wild

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.

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5 thoughts on “Real Unreal Character Tangent Gone Wild

  1. Are you gleaning me?
    RYC: I am SO paranoid now that if I get a PayPal message I won’t click the link in the email.  I open another window or page and go to PayPal from there.
    I got another phishing email yesterday trying to get my ebay login!  I can just see it now! They’d tarnish my 100% perfect score and get me a slew of red dots.  I hate red dots!

  2. Ya know, I’ve had a minor version of that same worry. During this whole 31 Days of Horror thing, one or two stories have involved girlfriends biting the dust (selling the farm, kicking the bucket, being killed by a raving lunatic) and I’ve gone to pains to make sure that the fictional girlfriend shares absolutely no attributes with anyone I’ve dated. Specifically, in eye color. As a result, there are a lot of green-eyed girls in these stories. 

  3. As the proud inspiration for one of the characters in “Voodoo Computer Healer”, all I can say is, she’s in good company!

  4. HA! I have a similiar problem with everyone thinking all my writing is about my own life. Kinda annoying getting a lot of anxious emails when all I want is writing critique. 🙂

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