1. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    How Much Of Your Life Is In Your Writing?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mugen shiyo, Sep 22, 2012.

    Does your occupation play a significant role in how or what you write?
     
  2. serowden
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    serowden Member

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    All of my life is in some of my writing, but it's all very personal, unshared writing that has to do with my issues and life. I'm chronically unemployed and write constantly, but my occupations and lack thereof have definitely affected my writing, as well as my perspective in life in general.
     
  3. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    You are in your own writing, no matter whether you realize it or not. When a character is angry, you write using your own experience of anger, for instance. At least that's what I have heard.


    Anyhow, to answer the original question, yes, very much yes. Some might even say some of my projects are semi-semi-autobiographical. However, I do tend to spread my life across several characters, rather than just have one main character who happens to be coincidentally very similar to me and has all this great stuff happen to him. Although I am technically employed, I don't really have much of a career yet, so that hasn't really influenced my writing. Yet. (Although my interests do.)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My life is far more than my professions over the years. All of my life experiences flavor my writing.
     
  5. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Interesting question. It might make a huge impact on how you write, if you have an occupation that is 'out there', something unusual like astronaut, scientist, missionary etc , someone who has seen life from a different angle than the average Joe. But it's life experiences that play the bigger roles in our writing, since we tend to write about what we know or what we have experienced even if we have to exaggerate or twist it to suit out means as creative writers.
     
  6. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Well to be clear, I may draw from my life to shape scenes and enhance them, but that is not to say that I, myself, or my life are in the writing. When I was new to writing my writing was redolent with my life experience. But now that I'm older and ore creative, my characters have their own lives, their own stories, there own views on life. I won't deny that I put myself in my characters' shoes in order to get a better idea and make them more believable, but I try to keep myself out of them so they can think independently and live independently.

    Although in my first major work, every major character was me in some form. Which is something I hope to vary in the rewrite :p
     
  7. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    That is not to suggest I am so great a writer that I am above using my life and knowledge. I just think that putting my life in someone else's is an odd way to tell a story >.<
     
  8. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    I guess it depends on what one means by having one's life in writing.

    I consider drawing from my life experiences to shape a story constitutes putting myself in my story. It might not be all of it, but it's a little bit of me, and that more than qualifies, in my opinion. Of course others may disagree, but that's how I see it.
     
  9. Geri
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    Geri Member

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    I think alot of writers leave an imprint of themselves in some shape or form in their writing. I use my own experiences but then add a twist to them or exaggerate them to improve my writing. ( I use the word 'improve' loosely!) !
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    How could they not?
     
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  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Only bits and pieces of my life enter into my writing. Mainly it's how I envision things, or imagine things, symbolic stuff
    but never the actuals. It's weird because I'll look at a finished work and say omigosh the symbolism can be taken an
    entirely different route if the reader knew me!

    If I was to pour in too much of my reality - it would be rather ( really ) dull.
     
  12. Geri
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    Geri Member

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    That's my point Cogito !! They can't !
     
  13. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    yeah i do. i have been told i describe a lot of injuries very clinical in stories. also the peter principle is often in full affect.

    i think its inevitable your own experiences will leak in
     
  14. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    Life, yes. Occupation, zero, zip, nada.

    But that's probably a reflection of my occupation more than anything else. Some occupations in and of themselves simply do not make very interesting reading. (It's always possible to write something interesting within the context of any occupation, but in some cases you have to do that by writing away from the occupation rather than into it.)
     
  15. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pretty much agree. I've gotten characters from people I've known at work, and taken situations from work and expanded them to generalized people situations, but I haven't used any of my many occupations directly (that I can remember, anyway).
     
  16. JonSpear360
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    Every single character I create has a piece of me, or a piece of someone I know. Same with each scenario, they are all influenced by something I have experienced or witnessed someone close to me experiencing. I'd say the framework of every story I tell is personal, but the decoration is all created for the progression of an interesting story.


    As for occupation, I'd say yes ... but also no. I think a lot of EXPERIENCES I've had at different jobs have influenced certain scenes and characters. I don't think your job has to influence anything, but the mindsets, goals, fears, etc that are all related to your career (or lack of career) can definitely influence your work.
     
  17. ManicHedgehog
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    ManicHedgehog Member

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    I would think everything I've ever written has been inspired by something in my life, whether it be my favorite stories and games when I wrote as a kid, or my favorite music or the places I visit now. I very, very rarely base characters off people I know in real life. I did write one story about a newspaper writer that I submitted here about four years ago, back when I was still in the newspaper business - that's probably the closest I've ever gotten to writing anything that hit home personally. I think I like to let my imagination do all the heavy lifting; leave the left brain out of this!
     

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