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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Yes. No. Maybe.


Fiction is so much more precise than reality. Dorothy Garlock was once asked in my presence what she would do if a character took over her story. Thinking the question absurd, she replied: I would kill them. It's my book. 

If anyone asked me the most difficult part of writing, I'd have to say it is a toss-up between penning emotion (because real emotion comes from my heart, gut, and head--it's personal, and I always feel exposed)...and separating the voices in my head.

There are those writerly voices, the characters, and there are the screams from my subconscious that force me into a corner. If a friend asks: Does this haircut make my ass look fat, I'm not about to tell her to wear a wig until her buzz cut grows out, so I'll say NO and assure her she looks great. If an aging parent makes a decision out of hope and desperation, I'll waffle, trying to find my ground before answering. Time to say goodbye to a beloved pet--the hardest truth to face, but in the best interest of the animal, I won't lie to myself.

With fiction, it's easier to be brutally honest. I'm not killing a character I've created just because he pisses me off if he veers outside his character boundaries, but since the book will have my name on it instead of his, he's not getting by with his crap. 

Maybe it all boils down to ownership and responsibility. I'm responsible for what my characters say and do. It's not that simple when it comes to controlling others' actions, because I don't wish to own their pain.

No, it's not Monday. Just feels like it.


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