1. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Do you write to fill gaps?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Daemon Wolf, Jul 22, 2015.

    I was just curious about this.

    Does anybody write certain characters or settings to fill gaps in their life/emotions?

    Just a little explanation and backstory:
    When I was young I was adopted having been taken from my schizophrenic mother (I was 10 months old) and nobody knowing who my actual father was. After growing up with my adopted family I have ultimately never felt connected to any of them. Me and my dad don't really have any basis for a father son relationship, he pretty much likes the complete opposite of what I do and he rarely ever talks. And my mother is nice to a point but also is quite out there and I never really feel part of this family. The only person who did was my adopted brother (he was adopted too but from a different family) and now that he's been gone from the house for a long time I don't really feel part of a family. I didn't have that dad who I looked up to, never had that great family of weirdos that everybody seems to have. And the more I grow up the more I find myself watching movies and shows where there is always this great father figure who does his best and is always there for his sons/daughters where as my dad was always quiet and not one to butt in to much. So my question is, does anybody write to fill their gap? If they didn't have that "stephen king" circle of friends do they feel the need to write a story where there are great friends? If (you're like me) you didn't have a really strong father figure do you find yourself writing your MC's father figure really well and somebody who you would've loved to have growing up? Just curious.
     
  2. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I want to be a thousand things and the only way to be them all is to write.
     
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  3. Jaina
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    Jaina Member

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    Short answer: No. What I want to be, I can achieve in real life. I don't tell stories for self-fulfillment or to close any gaps in my life, I tell them because the world or the characters fascinate me. I want to close the gaps in my life by myself and not some written character. Okay, it would be really cool if I'm a dragonrider or the commander of my own space destroyer, but these wishes belong in the category "unrealistic".
     
  4. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's an interesting question. I don't write about certain things specifically because I want them in my life; I write about things that I'd like to explore in more depth than I have the ability or willingness to in real life. I'd say my writing is about exploring gaps in my life/emotions, but it doesn't have to be specifically things I'd want in my real life.

    If that makes any sense.
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you looking for someone else to say they dream about the perfect family and set their stories around such? I don't think there is a picture perfect family - we're all nut cakes not just drunk uncle Johnny at the wedding who dances like a giraffe on roller skates to everyone's embarrassment/later hero.

    To answer your question I don't write characters wishing they were my photo family but I do take foibles and characteristics from my family (and friends) and inject them into my writings.
     
  6. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    I don't write to fill gaps, but I do use those gaps to color my writing, to get close and personal, even empathetic with my characters. Your backstory: I think you're looking for a connection -- something to feel. If so, reach out to the brother -- tell him what's going on with you. My father was a bit aloof, but I connected with my grandfather and uncle at about the age of 15 and I'm still a mess :).
     
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  7. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    I don't write to fill gaps, necessarily, but sometimes I write to understand. I may base a character's personality off someone I know in real life and then interact with that character in ways I wouldn't dare to in real life (like writing my horrible first step-mother into a character and then somehow finding the excuse to do or say all of the things I wish I could have in real life.) That doesn't happen often, but sometimes. Most of the time I just write to explore feelings and ideas that I can't exactly carry out in real life. I like the idea of magic and flying, and I can't realistically do either in my life, but in writing I can feel what it might be like to weild magic or fly on the back of some fantastical beast. I don't love writing realism because to me, reality is less exciting. I guess I write because it's my grown up way of playing pretend.
     
  8. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I didn't / don't have that family either, certainly not a father I can look up to or am/was friends with.

    I am not writing to fill any gaps though. My MC started as an analog of myself, in a sense, but then got shifted out and now his son is the MC. The ex-MC "father figure" is going to be flawed. Better than my father, but not filling any gaps and not someone I would necessarily get along with.
     
  9. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    While I don't write about what I wish I had in relationships, I have found myself writing characters with the same flaws and emotional problems unintentionally. It can be very eerie sometimes. I was out of whack for about a month after writing one of my novellas.
     
  10. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    I write about what I want the world to see, I guess. Sometimes we get caught up in just living that we miss a lot of connections and emotions that are right in front of us. I write to connect myself and the reader to emotions and situations that they (we) may never have really thought of. Sometimes it is easier to see something when it is someone else's story rather than your own.
     
  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Sometimes. Most of the time though I write what I want to see/ read but can't find.

    One script I am working on though is my own personal 'fantasy' of meeting up again with an important ex and being able to have a conversation to work through the past and catch up on how we've both changed. However, because this might actually happen over the next few months, I'm not sure if I should continue.
     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Got to love those feelgood movies!

    Then there are those movies where the family is SOOO dysfunctional.

    Then there's real life.

    It looks like you've had the shitty end of RL. A schizophrenic mother isn't the best start into this world, and it does seem that your adoptive family will have done the best that they could, but...But, there are worse situations to have been in; my daughter befriended a girl whose elder sister had been abused by their father. Nothing screwed up there!

    It seems that you're writing to try to put your feelings into a box labelled "My best-selling manuscript" so that you can come to terms with them, and there's absolutely no reason why not. As long as you're not seeing the dollar signs from the b-s part of that, and basing your life around it!

    On a practical note, it's already been suggested that you reach out to your brother. But, have you considered reaching out to either of your parents? I don't believe that anyone who adopts - twice - is a bad person. Perhaps they felt that what they did was some kind of social obligation, which they have now fulfilled.

    Another tale. When my daughter was at school - about 14 - there was a pupil who was always disruptive. The class joker. He'd get thrown out of class, and would then do silly walks past the classroom window. When he reached about 18, he went back to school and apologised to those teachers. Now, that's a LOT of growing up. And it will have made those teachers love him. I guessing that, if you reach out, your parents will love that they've got something back.
     
  13. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    I usually just watch movies with a better family, haven't written anything like that yet though. I might in the future but as for now I'm focusing on my first book about doing what is best no matter where you come from.

    And I have reached out to my brother. Me and him talk all the time. And as for my father I have thought about that but we don't have much common ground. And I'm not too close to my mother. Another reason is I'm not that good with emotions, like at all. That's more personal than I'm willing to get on a forum but if you really care then you can just P.M. me. I just find myself wishing that I had that kind of father figure and wanting to be that kind of father figure.
     
  14. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Personally I don't always know where my stories come from when I am writing but I can sometimes trace what's in them to what is going on with me in an abstract way i.e MC is a powerful female figure struggling to protect her family, I'm working hard to keep my kid healthy and alive and protect my other kids from the trauma of her illness - there are parallels.

    When I write characters I will often include traits that I personally struggle with, find frustrating or have grappled with in others. Then within the story I explore why they are like that. For example, the daughter in my current WIP pushes boundaries most with her mother, can be infuriating and somewhat annoying - but actually much better around other authority figures and is generally a good kid. Somewhat like my own daughter. The daughter in my WIP is this way for several reasons. Mother feels guilt about the danger she is in and lets her daughter push her around a little to compensate. Daughter knows Mum will be there whatever and is sharpening her pre-teen bitchyness against her. Daughter is a strong personality asserting herself as she grows. Are the motives the same as my daughters? Perhaps some, probably not all. Sometimes I've not even been thinking about a specific person when writing but realised at the end of writing that they share traits with someone I know. At times I've felt I came to understand that person's complexities more and even if it didn't help me reconcile or forgive, it has helped me see them more as a flawed person rather than villainous or less-than. It gives me a mindset of being more willing to accept people as they are and learn to love them rather than try and push them into a mold of who I think they should be.

    Plus, idealised characters are boring. People are people. Most of us are a mess of good intentions, unfulfilled expectations and neurosis. The luckiest of us are stuck together with love, forgiveness and acceptance.
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think so, at least I did when I started, as a 14 year old. I didn't have many friends by that time and was bullied in school, and I wrote this story about friendship which expanded to deal also with these character's whole life, including boyfriends, careers (when they became older) and eventually marriages. It was a huge work that included something like 14 binders filled with handwritten pages.
    Nowadays I don't know. It's more of a escape from reality I guess. I've always been a dreamer who's not really happy with who I am, and therefore I've always fantasized about being somebody else. I still like that. :)
     
  16. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I'm no expert, but I would say a lot of writers write characters to fill those voids in their life. So most of these fantastic family characters, are just that, fantastic fantasy. And the more I look into it, the more I find that the people who achieve in life are ones from broken homes, something is missing in their lives (or at least they feel it is) so they look for acceptance in other forms, eg fame.
     

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