How Much of Me Do I Show?

Image provided by eltpics @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/eltpics/
Image provided by
eltpics @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/eltpics/

As a writer, I’m going to show parts of me in whatever I write. It can’t be helped because it’s a personal pilgrimage. I will show fragments of myself within my work no matter whether I try to hide them or not. I can’t be devoid with my writing. Believe me, I’ve tried and it just ends up as a gooey mess when I try to mask myself.

Still, I do have the ability to decide how and how much of myself is projected into the finished product of my craft. When working with non-fiction, this task is simple. The subject is there as reality and my only concern is to decide if I show both sides of the issue or just one. If I show both sides, I will have to step back for either one side or the other to give it equal billing in what I write. Sure, in some cases this can be difficult but never impossible.

When writing fiction, there isn’t any clear case of any two sides, especially if the story is going to be multidimensional. The entire basis of the writing is intertwined with the author’s emotions and experiences. There isn’t a clear-cut way to step back to get a different perception unless there’s purpose in changing the story. If this is the case, then the entanglement with the writer’s passion begins again. What I write is going to show who I am whether I want it that way or not.

The protagonist is most likely going to have the qualities I admire. The antagonist is going to have the qualities I loathe.

If you’re writing true to yourself and close to the bone—if you’re writing honestly—all of these things are going to creep into your fiction. Holly Lisle

So how much of me am I going to let the readers know?

It’s odd that I’m considered an introvert overall. I mean, most of my life is an open book. Sure, I like isolation and I have a couple of secrets about myself, but off the top of my head, I have a hard time remembering what those secrets are and there are times when I want to gab with almost anyone.

Hmmm… a secret about me…

When I get angry, I have a tendency to “cuss like a sailor”. I think I’d tone that down a bit in anything I write. After all, I have a whole fat dictionary of words to pick from so I’m sure I can find something that will express anger without all the swearing.

When I was in the seventh grade, I had this wonderful English teacher, Mr. Emery. Someplace close to the end of the school year, he had us write some cuss words on paper. Then he gave each one of us a dictionary, and told us to find words that would better express those emotions. All of us were surprised at how many words we could find. His point was to show that the “easy” words rarely are the best to really express oneself.

The hippy era was known for the loose morality of that time. Fornication was everywhere. Even though I grew up during this period, I’m very private when it comes to sex. I don’t think I’ll be expressing my ideas about this subject in any detail when I write. It’s just not me. I’ll hint at it instead. You won’t read anything erotic from me.

§

There may be other emotions I’d rather hide, but I’ll push my way through on those in hopes of writing a tale worth reading.

 

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20 thoughts on “How Much of Me Do I Show?

  1. I agree on some level. I cannot hurt animals nor do I like certain subjects / situations etc., but I might still write about some of that.

    Question(s): How does a man write from a convincing female’s point of view and a female from a male’s? How is it a happy-go-lucky type writes gruesome murder mysteries?

    I gave a long-lost friend a piece I’d written about him, which happened a time long ago. I asked what he thought. His answer was a writer always reveals him or herself in the writing. He hadn’t finished looking yet. I believe he most likely forgot about the circumstance in the story because he tried to find something that wasn’t there

    Yes? No? Maybe?

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      1. Good point. I believe you can research anything and do a good job of writing. My point is that we c.a.n. also write about subjects we are uncomfortable with if the story calls for it. Yes? No?

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  2. Of the many reason I decided to take some time out from the classroom was how people will judge a person based on the fiction they write as a reflection of that person’s core values. I write about some less than admirable characters in some of my stories and have read too many articles about teachers being ridiculed for writing about certain topics or even using “colorful” language. Plus, when I do write creative nonfiction, I like to try to apply as little filter as possible so the writing is as authentic as possible.

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    1. Jeri, I do believe that there are times when the “colorful” language is appropriate. And depending on what genre you write in, sex may have to be a part of what you give the reader. I just think some writers use these things because they think it sells books. Maybe they’re right but I still do not want to write like that.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of the grammar from my school days Mr. Emery taught me. I think it’s one of the major reasons why I did so well in my creative writing classes in senior high school. That and the exploration of words that are found in everyday life.

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  3. I think many writers show themselves in their writing. I’m a bit iffy about writing a sex scene though and would have to wonder at some authors and whether they either have amazing sex lives or very vivid imaginations. lol
    I read something yesterday though that blew me away. There has been a list compiled of the top (however many) romantic lines in novels and Diana Gabaldon rated a mention for one of her lines between Jamie and Claire. Someone mentioned it on Diana’s FB page (yes I follow her) and she replied that her husband had actually said this to her and so she included it in the book. I thought that was a lovely example of how showing yourself within the pages of a work of fiction.

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    1. I’m not sure if I’d put something in a fictional story that is obvious of my personality. I know I show it even here, but unless you’ve read enough of my posts, you just don’t see it.

      There probably are a few who have had unbelievable sex in their lives, but note, I did say a few. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A writer is always visible behind her work, and maybe that is why we read – to connect with someone out there whom we have never met and probably won’t ever meet either.
    Being an introvert myself, sex is something I too can’t share about. And sometimes I feel that I try to hide behind the words, which of course is not a good thing.

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    1. Mr. Emery in general made an impression on me. He was good liking, knew his mission, and did well on delivering the goods. Most of my correct grammar comes from his class.

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  5. All the above comments speak to me! Everyone reveals themselves somehow, and since most writers are introverts, we are more likely to write it than say it. An excellent writer friend once told me, “Writing should be like lifting the edge of the curtain.

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