Tuesday, July 31, 2007

31 in 31

I can't believe I did it. I actually managed to blog every single day this month. Okay, so some of them were little more than place holders but I showed up. Could this be the beginning of the ever-elusive discipline I've been seeking or is it just a fluke?

Today's quote goes out to a very good friend (and she'll know it's for her the second she reads it):

I tell my student you have an absolute right to write about people you know and love. You do. But the kicker is you have a responsibility to make the characters large enough that you will not have sinned against them.
--Dorothy Allison


Writing about real people is a tough one. We've all done it, whether deliberately or inadvertently. You hear something, you observe something else, you live through various experiences with people you love (or maybe don't), and your cells absorb it all then tuck it away in some secret part of your brain, the place where stories grow, until one day it spills back out again in a different form. You know where it came from. You can see the framework that supports the fiction and you hope nobody else sees quite that clearly.

I'm here to tell you that people are strange. The few times I've blatantly based a character on a family member I knew and loved, s/he didn't make the connection at all. Not even a suspicion. But the times when a fictional character was exactly that, an utterly fictional creation, the same people saw themselves in every strength and flaw. Go figure.

Fiction comes from fact. It comes from pure imagination. It comes from observation, experience, redistribution. And, if you're lucky, sometimes it comes from a place closer to real magic than you ever thought you'd reach in this lifetime.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Brandy said...

Thanks for the insight. Love the qoute. And congratulations for sticking with the blog all month!

August 1, 2007 at 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Barbara Bretton said...

Brandy, thanks to =you= for sticking with the blog!

August 1, 2007 at 7:52 PM  

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