1. BookLover
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    BookLover Contributing Member

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    Is it about me?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by BookLover, Mar 25, 2015.

    I've been telling more people in real life about my writing goals, and strangely every time I mention it the first thing they say is, "Is it about me?" No, I am not writing my novel about you. Why would that even occur to you?! :confused:

    Why does everyone keep asking me that? Does this happen to anyone else?
     
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  2. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    They're politely trying to tell you they don't care about your writing goals, unless its about them.

    Really, its better to keep these sort of things a secret until you're published and producing real results :S
     
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  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't really discuss my writing, largely because you risk sounding like a gargantuan twat if you prattle on about your terminally unfinished novel. So I have no idea what the reaction would be.
     
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  4. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    As a counter to the bolded, everyone I've ever told has, at worst feigned interest for long enough for the subject to change and never return.

    It's really not fair to drop that kind of absolute statement on something this subjective. Maybe OP's friends/family are the kind of people that it's not worth mentioning writing to until you're published, but that's far from the case with everyone.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I've only got this response as a kind of tease from my parents and that's a long time ago. But I hate responding to the question - oh, what do you write. I try to keep it simple - fiction. But that doesn't always work. The funny thing is when I do start to tell them their faces take on this embarrassed look as if they were expecting me to say something profound - like I write about world peace or racial struggles or something not robots or worms or amnesia victims.
     
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  6. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not an absolute statement. I said "better" not "absolutely necessary."
     
  7. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    @BookLover, try this: When they ask that question, ask them, "Do you want it to be?"
     
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  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    My guess is that they're worried that you're basing an unlikeable character off of them. C'mon, who here hasn't based a character off of a unlikeable real-world person so you can 'have revenge' on them? :p But yeah, that or they just want their five minutes of fame.
     
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  9. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    We can always respond with our loglines. You know, practice our elevator speeches on them so they'll be ready for potential publishers and agents. And if they don't think our subjects are profound enough, well . . .
     
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  10. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    This is a good idea. And I need practice on my loglines. I find it hard trying to sum up a story in a couple of sentences without it sounding like everything else.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ha! :-D

    "See, there's this one character in the story, she's a prostitute (or maybe it's a he, not sure yet, but definitely a prostitute), and I feel that the character is important, but this character's motives and needs aren't clear to me yet. Wanna' fill in to help me flesh this character out??" ;)
     
  12. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you should say yes, and then make the main character a horrible person. Then hope it becomes a best-seller. You know the rest.
     
  13. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's just mean. :) Maybe say it is fiction and starts off with your death. :rolleyes:
     
  14. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    You made the absolute statement that it was better to keep quiet rather than talk about it with no nuance as to when and with whom that might be the case.
     
  15. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everyone I know is aware of my writing - they talk about their hobbies I talk about mine...deal with it. I don't dwell on it long but I talk about it and occasionally Facebook about it just as if I were playing a sport or knitting a blanket or whatever else people do with their time.

    Most of them aren't interested but that's fine - I'm not interested in everything they do either - but I don't fault them for posting about the marathon they're running this weekend or the cover-band they play in.

    Now - if you want to be a smart-alek and ask me if I'm basing a character on you...be careful what you wish for. One co-worker who bugged me about that as a joke has been written in as a total jerk who the readers want to punch - not a villain but the kind of character with no brain-mouth filter.
     
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  16. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Nah. Truth is most people aren't interested.

    I do, however, often get the response, "Really? I've always wanted to write a book too." Or maybe, "Yes, I want to / am planning on writing a book too."

    Such responses annoy me - they usually come from people who's never even talked about books, let alone writing. In my head I can't help but think: Do you have any idea how hard it is?!

    It's like everyone wants to be a writer, except nobody wants to put in the work. Somehow that irks me.
     
  17. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Or the old - Are you finished writing that book yet? Like you're making brownies or something. And it should be done by now.

    On the bright side my mom actually sat down and tried to write her autobiography and realized just how hard writing is.
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    When I suggest I'm writing a future Libertarian dystopia, none of my friends have ever expressed the least bit of concern they might be in it. :p
     
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  19. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That's never come up.
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oh gosh, yes. For the past few years my parents have been asking about my book - every time I said it's not finished, my dad would launch into his speech of the value of hard work (basically saying I'm not working hard enough. Never mind that I wrote almost every single day for 4 years on that WIP) and my mum would say, "Just don't write so much! Make it shorter!" And it's like, oh for fuck's sake...

    One of my ex's also ask about the same WIP and love to express his "disappointment" in the fact that it's not finished. His responses are always that of disapproval and disappointment. When I shared my blurb with him, he asked, "So everyone's immortal?" (well, if you'd read it properly, you'd know that's a stupid question)

    Thankfully my husband has never said anything like this, nor expressed any emotion except "Keep writing! You're really good!" to me. (he really believes it too, bless him) He neither reads nor writes but somehow has more understanding than all the others! The only time he expresses displeasure is when he would deliberately stay up with me past midnight just so I could write, just to realise when he's finally going to bed that I hadn't been writing but been messing around on Facebook... :oops: (in my defence, he doesn't tell me this in advance! He just says nothing and stays on his laptop! But yeah lol. I can see why that would be annoying)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
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  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    No, not really. Well, once, a good friend said she wants @T.Trian and I to write her into one of our stories. Yeah, we still haven't. I actually feel kind of weird about doing something like that.
     
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  22. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've actually had about 3-4 people ask me to do that. I tried several times, actually, cus I don't actually mind and I'd only ever use their names for cameos and minor characters anyway. It's actually surprisingly hard... cus you keep thinking, "I know this character's only in here for a few lines but this name just doesn't suit them!" I would still give it a go if someone asked but I'd rather not, I think.

    And I seem to have a love affair with the word "actually"...
     
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  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Aha. Let me guess...! :)

    @BookLover - I just ran across this thread. Your OP is very funny. What a reaction! I can only assume your friends are joking? No? Well, you could tell them 'yes, you'll be in it.' That will certainly guarantee you at least one sale, and a very close read!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  24. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I haven't been asked that per se, but I have been asked if I've embued my characters with traits of people I know. When I answer in the affirmative, and then they go on to ask whether I've used them as a basis, I completely deny it, even if I have.

    The only exception is my old boss. He asked me was there space to write him in as a background character, just for the hell of it. He only gets a couple of lines, but I'm pretty sure that anyone who has ever worked under him would recognise him immediately.
     
  25. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    probably not the one you think, but close. (He's Ty the producer)
     

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