Writing about other people (30 days of Blogging, 2015)

(So for this year's 30 days of blogging, I will be responding to a quote every day...mostly ones about writing...since that is what I find myself talking about and thinking about more than anything these days).

"Unless something has gone disastrously wrong, other people aren't that interesting to write about." Margaret Atwood

If I had a nickel for every person who, upon learning I'm an author, tells me "you should write MY life story...talk about INSTANT bestseller," I would have a sock full of nickels. I smile and tell them if they should write their story as I am sure I could not do it justice. Cut out the middle man, you know? And while I am not sure what I would do with that sock full of nickels, but some of my less than honorable characters have some ideas.

I have also had people tell me I should put them in a book and I do think about it for a minute...I do try to see where they would fit...I have a couple of serial killer novels that I have started and I wonder how they would feel about being an extra snack for my sociopaths.

For me, and for other writers it may be different, but for me, the characters appear in my mind when I sit down to write. They may be bits and pieces of different people I know or have met, but I can't take a person as they exist in my reality and just plop them into my novel. It doesn't work like that for me.

The characters I write about, are 100% fictional and if you see yourself in one of my characters, that is...well, that's awesome (hopefully it is not one of the aforementioned sociopaths that you see yourself in...and if you do, then may I say that knife really brings out the color in your eyes and you look lovely...)

As fascinating as you are, and your life has been, I am not a biographer. Write your story. Claim it...I will completely support your efforts to create your own life on the page. I will help you in the process...I like to help with the process, but if I wrote your story...it wouldn't be yours, now would it...