1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    A Book/Story About You/Your Feelings

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cacian, Jan 5, 2012.

    I think if we are to be true to ourselves and true professional writers then I think we should all begin a book storie dedicated to ourelves from ourselves first.
    Like the saying goes
    'charity begins at home'.
    I think before we engage in writing for others we must write for ourselves first.
    It would be like a rite of passage to successful writing well at least to me anyway.

    The question is this:
    If you were asked to write a book about you how would you approach it?
     
  2. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I've never heard that saying before.
     
  3. Cacian
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  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Do you mean an autobiography?
     
  5. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    I have started writing a private diary this year, which I intend to complete (we'll see about that) so that is sort of a book for myself, about me, because I treat it not just as a record of what I do each day but also a place to put thoughts and feelings.
     
  6. Kallithrix
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    So what you're talking about is an autobiography? I don't ever plan on writing anything of the sort, not a biography or a memoir or even a diary (I've never kept one in my life).

    The reason is simple: my real life bores me. That's why I write, to escape it. But that doesn't mean that I can't use my own personal experiences as inspiration for my writing - I think every writer does that. Sometimes a story can follow my own life very closely - for instance I came up with the premise for a romance novel based on what happened to me when I visited my best friend in France one summer. But it is not 'about me' per se. The characters and situations are based on real people and events, but it is a fictional story - and it ends very differently to the way mine did ;)

    Are you trying to suggest that one cannot be a good writer unless they write a book about themselves first? I just find that totally bizarre.
     
  7. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Yes something that tells/says your story.
     
  8. AmsterdamAssassin
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    Once again, you take a proverb, pull it apart, misinterpret it and try to force it into a statement that makes no sense whatsoever.

    Charity begins at home means that you should take care of yourself first before you take care of others - in fact, it advises people to be selfish, but that aside it has nothing to do at all with work. It would be like saying, 'you should build your own house before you build houses for other people', 'you should publish your own books before you publish other people's books', 'you should set your house ablaze and fight that fire, before you can become a firefighter'.

    The last thing a fiction writer should write about is themselves, because that often leads to masturbatory self-reflection. You can use your experiences to imbue your fictional characters with a semblance of reality and real people, but stories drawn from real life are often not suitable without heavy editing to work as fiction.

    Also, the last person I want to write about is myself, no matter how interesting I might be. I'd rather remain in the shadows behind my creations.
     
  9. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    hmm, slightly worrying choice of words :p

    Just messing, I know what you mean, and I agree that a writer who focusses on fiction should not (usually) write about themselves, as fiction is often an escape from the author's own life, or at least that's the way I view it.
     
  10. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    when I say writing about one self I mean coming clean with one's feelings.
    Writing about who we are is like looking through us with words that can speak to us without dellusions deceit or lies.
    In order to perform the act of writing at its best we should, I thinkg, write about who we are as people, how we feel about ourselves, our lives, our feelings and other people.
    If we can achieve truthfulness through words because we have spoken to ourselves truly about our upsets our happiness and what makes us tick as individuals then we have in a way faced ourselves in the best possible way and have therefore achieved true writing.
     
  11. Nicholas C.
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    I don't really agree with this. I believe that "truthfulness through words", as you put it, is much more subjective than what you are giving it credit for. In other words, it doesn't just relate to personal feelings/insights. I can write about others or the world around me, and achieve the same level of writing - provided I know what I am writing about as well as I would know myself.

    Also, writing about yourself is a choice, not at all different from choosing what genre to write about. Saying that writing about yourself is a more pure way of writing is like saying that writing comedies is a truer way to write than writing horror. (or something to that effect)
     
  12. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    You seem to be hung up on the truth...

    Fiction is the art of lying convincingly by touching the truth in the heart of the reader. Fiction is deceit, the art of suspending the disbelief that lurks in every reader's mind. Truth is also subjective. Despite what generally professed, there is no universal truth. What's true for me, might be false for someone else. Fiction needs to address the emotional values in the reader, so the reader invests in the story, despite the story being fictional and therefore not truth, but a confabulation intended to entertain and educate by showing the reader something 'larger than life'.
     
  13. Kallithrix
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    What he said :D
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I disagree strongly with statements along the lines of "every writer should write an xxx story."

    You can make such a decision for yourself, and only for yourself. I personally find most memoirs indulgent and self aggrandizing.
     
  15. Kallithrix
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    Ditto. I've only read one autobiography/memoir in my entire life - An Evil Cradling by John McCarthy, who was abducted in Lebanon and held as a hostage for more than 5 years. His account of his experiences made the plight of hostages and prisoners of war a very harrowing reality to me, but it put me off reading any more autobiographies because I realised that true life is far more disturbing than fiction.
     
  16. Cacian
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    Of course reading other poeple harrowing lives is disturbing and can put you off I agree.
    What I meant by this thread is to write about you in the best possible way, recorrecting scenes of a past that were not good or hurtful, making them come alive under a new light, hence healing those moments.
    Writing is some ways a lot like councilling, but at a deeper level, meaning it is only you and you and the words.
    By rewriting your history you are ''coming back to life'' again stronger and better for it because you have written about things that were very personal to you but you gave them a new twist, a better start and ending, made those insecure feelings a positive ones.
    Lots of us tend to bury the past and never talk or write about it and so we could never be 'whole' again.
    My thread was just an idea.
    There is nothing to stop you from rewriting your life and your past under a new story, but with a happy upliftng one.
    What an experience that would be because not only you already know everythinf the stories/the plot so for your first book or story it should very easy and thus giving more ideas for your next story.
    I often hear people say they have ''a writer's block'', my answer to that is write about you,your past and your life experiences because it is there waiting to happen/be written.
    It makes perfect sense and plus it will give you a boost for your next stories.
     
  17. Kallithrix
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    That may be why you write, but it's not how or why I write. I can't imagine any more accute form of torture than being asked to 'make my past come back to life' - that sucker is dead and buried and I do not mourn its loss. I have never dwelled on the past, and nor do I really look to the future - I am anchored quite firmly in the present and I like it just fine, thanks.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    I can sort of see what you mean, but I may have misunderstood. In any case, what you said could be interpreted less literally, in a way that the reality of any writing is a subconscious drive to sublimate or even project certain issues a writer has. It doesn't have to be a conscious process, it could just be a genre or a type of story that resonates with personal histories. And it may not be immediately apparent, but the symbolism or general theme, even details in terms of characters, places, plot, could be, as disguised as it may be from the conscious mind, a reasonably accurate reflection of the writer themselves, in early stories more than in the later ones. Like Stephen King (I read this somewhere), he admittedly writes all his characters heavily based on himself, especially his fears and "monsters inside".
    In that way, I agree that the best writing which resonates most with the reader is that which is based on writer's personal truths, in some way or another.

    In that sense, some writers (maybe all, I don't know) have THE story to tell as their first big story, and very often it is based on themselves, and very often it results in Mary Sue characters for the very reason of seeking to resolve issues by re-writing the past. Writer can then become too protective and the story really annoying, but if there is a healthy distance and the protagonist is just a metaphor for the writer the story could work. In any case, it's best to get it out, regardless of whether it gets published or not, so that the rest of the stories can flow naturally, without being constantly upstaged by that first story that didn't get told yet.

    Still, I don't know whether everyone is like this, but I am, so I can sort of see what you mean :)
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    with total honesty... as i have done twice...

    the first was a humorous recounting of my adult life and two marriages that dealt with the most painful parts in a rather farcical way, since even i could see the nonsensical aspects of many of my actions and the consequences of same... it was a 'cinderella story' with both dark and hilarious twists...

    the beginnings of the second ['a weird life'] can be found in the 'other writings' section on my website...
     
  20. Cacian
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    In what ways?
     
  21. Cacian
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    was it a cinderlla story because of the 'money aspect' of it?
     
  22. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Hold up! I thought you were a stickler for the truth. 'Recorrecting/rewriting your history' and giving it a 'new twist/better start and ending'? That's hardly truthful. It might prop up your insecurities and give you a better feeling about yourself, but if you rewrite your past to fit some ideal, you're not telling the truth.
     
  23. Cacian
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    I did say a 'story'.
    since when stories became the truth.
     
  24. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Check the quote. You write 'rewriting your history'. You are talking about changing the past you have, for the past that suits you best. And I don't mind, truly, I don't. My stories are part modified reality, part pure fiction. But then, I don't claim to write the 'truth'. I'm a fiction writer, a storyteller, a professional liar, a confabulator. My fiction is to entertain. You are a stickler for the truth, and now you advice people to lie. What is it?
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... i went from being a single mother of 5 on welfare, to the wife of a multimillionaire... which definitely did not have a 'happily ever after' ending!... the prince turned out to be a toad...
     

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