I wrote a guest blog post last week for Contemporary Romance Writers on Writing out of Character. The story line in my novel, You’ll Be Thinking of Me, covers a wide range of experiences I’ve never had—an alcoholic father, a series of musician boyfriends, an almost rape, a relationship with a celebrity. When a good friend of mine read the blog post, her reaction was, “But that was SO you!” She wasn’t sure how I could say it was “out of character.” But, here’s the deal: The writing voice was, indeed, “SO me.” There’s no getting around the fact that my use of language was me and so was my take on the emotions of the characters. We each live inside ourselves and can truly know only how we would feel in any given situation. The rest can only be imagined. But no matter how much a writer fictionalizes the events of a story, some part of their own character, their philosophy, their dreams, their nightmares, shines through. It’s unavoidable and, in fact desirable. That’s what makes up a writer’s “voice.” So while the events in my story were completely “out of character,” the words and the emotions they expressed were mine and made my story “SO me.”
How much do you think a writer’s “inner life” is reflected in their stories?