It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
OPTIONAL OCTOBER QUESTION: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?
MY ANSWER: Yes. Bits and pieces of my life and my conversations with others often find their way into my fiction. Usually, it happens on purpose. For example, a few years ago I was working on a novel. I visited my sister at that time and asked her: what would you do in a situation such and such. I gave her answer, almost verbatim, to one of my characters.
Sometimes, I don’t ask. I talk to people, and something they say sticks to my memory. I might use it years later for one of my characters. The original person might not even remember he or she said that. It was in passing, in conversation, and none of us remembers what we said years ago while chatting with a friend or a relative.
I think all writers steal colorful phrases or unusual situations from their real life once in a while. It is too rich a source to pass by.
Today is the day of the Show Us Your Writer Insecurity contest (read the full description of the contest’s rules and prizes here). Each of us is supposed to post a picture of him or her (or their avatar) with the IWSG visual representation: a badge or some swag.
As a co-host, can’t wait to see the others’ photos, but for myself, I decided to create a composite of my avatar in front of the IWSG badge. Now, my avatar is not my photo. It’s a painting by Peter Paul Rubens: Lady-in-waiting to Infanta Isabella, currently the property of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Here is what the Hermitage website says about this painting.
I imagine that if Rubens could travel through time and learned about the internet, he would’ve definitely discovered IWSG, and his charming redheaded girl might have looked like this:
Don’t you think he would’ve approved of my composition?