But Who Shall I Write About?

Do I write about me, or do I write about you? Or the mysterious Mr. Blue?

When you’re a writer, people close to you often think you are writing about them. And, well, in all honesty, sometimes I am. But, other times, the last thing I want to think about is that person. Friend or foe, all relationships are complex, and with an overactive mind like mine, I am always thinking of each person, place, circumstance and outcome.

It’s sometimes tiring. Maybe that’s why I conk out like I do when I put my head on the pillow.

Say goodbye to evening reading time. It’s a manga for ten minutes or tap out.

Characteristics may be picked up from friends and family. Some writers focus on a tv show character, but often times I stop before I write a sentence and just think about what strange quirk I would want this character to do. For example, when I give a character red curly hair, I’m not basing everything off my stepdaughter. Tattoos for my son, lines of colour in the left eye for my daughter or thick brows for my stepson, no. And I would never make a character bald like my husband!

Characters get these random traits, and then they become a little more real. So then, isn’t it that I’ve written a character well enough for others to relate them to someone?

I wrote a story once, posted on here chapter by chapter, that made my family call me and ask if I had left my husband and moved to Vancouver Island. But, no, the character with the same problems I have did that. And she made it sound so wonderful and real and fun that people believed it was me.

The one thing I do steal is one-liners. I ask permission, but if I ask you permission don’t think I’ll ever remember who I get them from. Although I do remember the odd one, and maybe that’s what I’ll always keep of those relationships that you said a one-liner so well that I had to steal it. (if we were just coworkers or passer by friends type of thing, it happens)

I have one from my old boss. “Oh, for five cents.” I love it!

I also recently stole one from a line of texting with a friend.

“I play life like a video game, only got one life.” Actually, I think she was much more elegant, like, “I play that shit on pro. Only got one life.” And immediately, the next text said, “stolen!”

This went into a story called ‘I Am Anime,’ which has been submitted nearly a half dozen times for the Writers of the Future Contest, so if it loses again, it’ll probably come online for you, friends!

But seriously, why wouldn’t I steal one-liners, character traits, funny situations or other golden gems in life? Like, come on, how can I possibly think of everything?

That’s also why being a social recluse is often against what a writer needs to do.

We need to sell books, market ourselves and network socially. Yet all we want to do is fall into a good book, whether its written by us or another.

My husband has picked up a new saying, which I might adopt more into practice (or try anyway), that to be a writer, I have to be social. I’ll say something like, “I don’t want to be social,” and he’ll say, “if you want to be a writer, you do,” which sounds so true.

But I’d much rather write what a conversation might be, then it’s predictable. All outcomes are decided by me and not decided elsewhere for me to be forced to accept.

Life is easy on the paper.

Life is easy in make belief.

Stay true to you

Norma Rrae

2 Replies to “But Who Shall I Write About?”

  1. Hi Norma, I don’t often write about other people/characters, as a poet, I’ll write about myself and my emotions, but mainly I like to write about the environment and our relationship with our surroundings … I questing the purpose of our humanities existence on a planet that we seem to be on a path of self-destruction …

  2. Happy New Year and above all good health to you Norma and your whole family. Peace, justice, love and freedom for all oppressed peoples. Friendly kisses from Auvergne (France). <3

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