1. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Learning about yourself through writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JosephMarch, Feb 2, 2015.

    wow. Has anyone here learned a lot about themselves after going back to read passages or their entire work?

    I noticed some unintentional themes in my writing, perhaps hidden in my psyche...
    If you read as if you are a student analyzing the words (I did a lot of this in college) you might find some interesting things about yourself. Like self-analysis or psychoanalysis. Hmmm...
     
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  2. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I did learn something about myself when I realized why I was reacting so negatively to a character my husband wrote. I was pissed off 'cause I was reminded of my own worst qualities, and the person I sorta kinda used to be at one fuzzy point of my life.

    He and I write together, and I noticed by the time we had finished our 3rd manuscript (3rd story), I had written 3 women with daddy issues. I ended up doing that one more time with another story, god knows why, and by that time I was like... ahem, repeating yourself much? When we get around to edit those manuscripts, I might have to do something about that pattern. :whistle:

    In addition to that kind of stuff, I'd imagine a lot of people write or are tempted to write idealized versions of themselves, which might tell something about their shortcomings, of what they'd want to be but have failed to be. I really don't imply this is always the case, but when you've been writing long enough, such... wishes or hopes or dreams, whatever you wanna call them, might emerge, stand out.
     
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  3. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    I realized that my mc (who was, by the way, annoying me all the way) had a lot of my own personal characteristics which were bothering me (i.e. he was inert, wanted a change but didn't do anything about that, whining etc. :D ) I suppose that's because I was feeling kind of trapped in that period of my life, which is reflected on my book, setting, characters... So yes, you can definitely learn a lot about yourself trough the writing process. My mc grew and developed along the process, so I hope I did too. :)
     
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  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I like to consider myself a person with a positive outlook on life, a self-motivator and all that, but I've noticed recently that several of my characters seem to have a world-weary attitude who assumes the worst in everyone until proven otherwise. They feel like they're the victim of 'The Fates' who puppet them from one bad incident to the next and the only thing keeping them sane is liquor. It's the one thing they can control and by God, they're going to hold onto it.

    o__O

    Oi vey...
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two of my recent pieces have been first person POVs whose MCs have mental illnesses (1/ PTSD, 2/ Anxiety) and my current MC is an historical character with clinical bipolar disorder. I'm not mad, really I'm not.
     
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  6. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Please also read this if you're unsure what and how to post your work:
    How to get the critique lovin'. ;)

    Here's our New Member Guide if you haven't read it yet.

    But before posting to Workshop, you must meet the requiments , and if you still can't create a thread, please contact one of us mods. Reqs are as follows:
    • 2 weeks of membership with the forum
    • 2 constructive critiques given to items already in the Workshop
    • 20 post minimum (other than the 2 critiques, the other posts can be from anywhere in the forum)
     
  7. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Nope. Totally aware of everything that I am writing and why I write it.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I tend to write men I would fancy myself in real life. I can't seem to write male MCs who aren't like this because then I don't like them as much hahaha.

    As for women, I always end up making them soft-spoken weepy willows, or soft-spoken pillars of wisdom. I think it's a combination of things really - I've always wished I was quieter and gentler (I'm honestly neither. My husband, however, is both lol). I also actually do cry really easily and as a child I cried a lot. (had a perfectly happy childhood - but I'd just react with crying whenever I had very strong emotions)

    The idea of second chances, and making the best of a situation and still being sacrificial despite life having been a complete and utter bitch - these are things that matter to me and they're definitely in my stories. I think here it's probably because of my faith in Christ - the whole idea of having been forgiven and given new life. And then the being resilient through adversity is probably because of my mum, whose childhood was a pure nightmare. She can still cry suddenly if she talks about certain things - there was once, we were just chatting, and her eyes teared up and she fell quiet, and I asked her what she was thinking. And she said, "I remember how I used to crouch on the side of the street, hugging my stomach because I was so hungry, it hurt. And nobody cared. Nobody's ever cared for me."

    And till now, she has gaps in communication skills and some logical thinking, I believe, thanks to not having had a proper education. But she's been a good mum, y'know? I've never, ever known the kinda hardship or pain that she has. I get pissed off with her all the time, find her intolerably annoying sometimes, but I know there's always a home to go to if I ever needed it. I know I could go home, and it'll be safe. She got herself good office jobs throughout her life, learnt a second language (English) despite having very little education, married well (dad's a great husband), managed to emigrate (something many people wish they could do in HK, but can't, for various reasons) and put her two daughters through university in England. Sure it's a combination of good opportunities and blessings, too, but I can't help but think so much of what she has, she's earned, and despite not having experienced much love at all till she met my dad in her twenties, she's always shown me and my sister unconditional love.

    So in my stories, I like people like this too. People who have known suffering, and yet shows strength, whose characters are not compromised or destroyed.
     
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  9. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't say I've ever been surprised by what I wrote since I am acutely aware of what I put down in the first place. It is not stream of consciousness stuff. It may and often does reflect my personal preferences and opinions, but I try not to allow that to happen but rather to allow the character's own traits to affect decisions and make choices.
     
  10. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    The only thing I'm learning about myself is my unique style of storytelling. But I think that I sort of got to express my own worldview through writing.
     
  11. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, yeah. Which is why I'm revising the heck out of my first novel (first drafted ca. 1983). What a blinking, inexcusable mess my female MC was, and she was way too much like you-know-who.

    What I find funny is when I start acting out what I'm going to have my characters do in my book. In the original typedraft I had my female MC cringe whenever something she dreaded approached. "Phooey on that," thought I. "I'm going to have her plant her feet and straighten her back and stand up to it instead." And since I was going through some awkward times when I was gearing up to write those scenes, I started doing it myself, to see if it worked. It does. :rofl:
     
  12. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    I've definitely noticed this and in fact was commenting to my friend about it today.

    All of my characters parents in the past 3 or 4 projects have had dead parents, or one of them was missing. Weirdly enough, my parents don't like each other much...

    And as someone else said, my mc man is always someone I personally find attractive/idealize. My latest story is working with a somewhat difficult matter and I'm trying to ignore the things about myself I'm discovering in it.
     
  13. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wrote part of a short story recently, thinking, wow what an original concept, when all it was was me in woman's clothing.
     
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  14. Crawl
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    Crawl Member

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    I know what I write, because I write what I know
     
  15. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Mine is more themes running through that I didn't notice until reading it for the hundreth time. My main character is me, mostly, but I gave her the strength to react the way I wish I could at times.
     

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