Monday, March 18, 2013
The problem with learning
The problem with learning things, is that it teaches you what you don't know! There I was tonking along thinking that writing is easy - well sort of. The hardest part, I thought, was making yourself sit down and pump out 2000 words a day. The discipline of writing. Once you had that nailed, you were on the home stretch.
Turns out that is only one of many things that can stump you.
We are studying ethics at the moment, and what a can of worms it has opened up. As a writer, you have so much to think about. Here is a quote made by Margaret Atwood when a member of the public asked her about basing characters on people you know. This is a direct quote from my lecturer ...
I'll share a comment from the wonderful Margaret Atwood, whose interview on stage a couple of weeks ago was a highlight of the Perth Writers' Festival. A member of the audience asked about the ethics of basing characters on people you know and Atwood answered, and I paraphrase: 'Change their names and your relatives probably won't recognise themselves'. She went on to say that she had received letters from readers, people she had never met, accusing her of putting them in her books. Both comments brought big laughs from the audience.
The characters I am writing about are composites of people I know, myself included. So how can I avoid this issue of people thinking you are writing about them? Because as a writer, you do write what you know, I do watch people and how they act and talk to get ideas about a character And if I only write about myself, then its inevitable that I will encounter people, and therefore be writing about my interactions with them. Am I destined to only ever write about characters that are wonderful and amazing in case someone I know reads what I write and recognises (or think they do) themselves?
Maybe this is why SciFi and Fantasy writers went into those genres, they could really make things up.
Or, maybe, writing under a pseudonym is the answer?
Its all interesting stuff - I am SO loving this study.