It's the first Wednesday of the month:
the day when members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.
To visit the IWSG website, click here.
To become a member of the IWSG, click here.
Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes,
and Tamara Narayan,.
I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
Slipping this in just before the contest deadline ~ Cause that's who I am. I'm revealing a bunch of insecurities, not so much with writing but with technology and blogging. I'm traveling, so no IWSG swag. I can't figure out how to add my photo to the logo, like other clever IWSG members. And worst of all (so embarrassing) I can't take iPhone selfies. So I've taken a photo with my point and shoot camera of me with my computer and logo in my hotel room, between packing and hitting a pub to recover. Cheers!
Every month the IWSG poses a question
that members can answer with advice, insight,
a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.
Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.
Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:
Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?
The obvious answer to this question is yes, since I'm writing a memoir.
However, the more accurate answer depends upon
the definition of "personal information."
If the question means simple information
like my appearance, my address, my age, my income,
or how I hold my fork in a piece of fiction, I would say no.
If it means me, who I am, how I think, what I believe in,
and my life experiences, how can the answer not be yes?
Whenever I write fiction, it's often setting,
particularly place, that leads me into a character.
My character is grounded in a place,
because so much of whom a person is
comes from his or her place in the world,
and my understanding of him or her is derived frommy personal experiences or observations in that place.
My characters are often drawn from people I've known
and conflicts I have experienced or observed.
For example, in my novel-in-the-works one main character
is trying to escape from a preordained life as a logger in rural Nova Scotia.
That character was inspired by someone I knew well in the same situation,
but my fictional character is very different from the real person I knew.
I find my characters quickly take over and show me who they are in my writing.
The short stories I have written and the novel I am writing
have my fingerprints all over them.
When I consider the elements of story ~
setting, character, plot, theme, and style ~
I see myself in each element.
That’s because, if I'm going to invest time and effort in a story,
I'm going to write about settings, characters, plots, and themes
that speak to me personally and in a style that is my unique voice.
Yes, I'm writing books, and yes, I'd like to get them published;
but I am quite selfish in that I am writing about ideas that are significant to me,
and they are shaped by my beliefs based on my experiences.
Writing Shaped by Life
My Brother and I Canoeing
Lake Attawapiskat, Northern Ontario, Canada
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved