Welcome one and all to my blogged contribution to the Insecure Writers Support Group –
March 2 question – Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?
This has occurred often in my writer life to cause me to think the quandary must be common. After all we are – as T. Jefferson Parker famously stated – secretaries of life. We’ve been tasked with a particular role to record history and create insights for others to glean. Empathy and increased understanding on how to navigate life often ensues and benefits the neophytes of adult life.
That means overheard snippets of conversation, whether gossip or arguments, are fair game. They ground the reality in our writing because the remarks have actually been said. They can spiff, spice up, and bedazzle our prose, so one is advised to grab-and-go with the purloined lines!
That said, one must use caution if one’s relatives have access to one’s blog… trust me I know the uproar that ensues. Though the remarks have been uttered, an embarrassed family doesn’t like to be outed.
Writing their words down emboldens them to go wild and crazy
Alas, I became the scourged, forever the outlaw, though I never drew a gun. My writing was regarded as a grenade to ignite familial war.
No amount of explaining can undo the damage and memories seem immune to fading into the ether. Such is the lot of a family member who left the nest my husband and I have concluded. Coupled with the crazy jealousy about all things Californian – and the fact that our relatives seem to feel slighted by our move (?!)… it’s an unintended artifact.
Will I cease-and-desist with my dialogue appropriations – not yet. But I decline to call myself a dirty rotten thief!
Check out the blogs of the awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!
Yes, we do have to be careful if we write about family and friends and they see what we wrote. I hope you made peace with your family.
Pleas and apologies via phone worked, as well as the passage of time
LOL, PJ! I’ve had everyone from co-workers to critique partners ask if “that character” was based on them. I always tell them their personalities are too big and unbelievable for fiction. That seems to satisfy them.
Ha-my reply to such peeps varies, but often contains the truth. I always ask permission, so if I didn’t ask you, the character’s look and dialogue isn’t you.
Such thievery is our stock and trade–and fair game, as far as I’m concerned. Alas, I can relate to that familial jealousy over a move. FWIW, having moved around a lot, my daughter will never have to deal with a mama who thinks daughter’s place of origin is the center of the universe. That POV irks me to no end.
Great post! I wish you happy writing in March.
thanks for the affinity and the compliment, Sadira. Enjoying your newsletter –
I always try to be sensitive when writing about real life, or borrowing from real life. I only use positives on my blog. Anything I use from real life in my fiction I fictionalize as much as possible-only using snippets so as to not identify.
Good rule for a writer to write by, Lisa!
Thanks for stopping by my IWSG blog –