This article by Maria Kuznetsova in Guernica magazine had me thinking about when writers make people they know into characters…relatives, friends, themselves

I suppose it's inevitable that the paraphernalia of life ends up in your fiction—and that less experienced, or younger, writers may tend to write fictional stories in autobiographical ways (which I'm not 100% certain is anything more than a cliche)—but I always cringe, ever so slightly, when an author says: "My character is based off of …"

I get it if that real person's a celebrity (whose celebrity-personality is a sort of character anyways), and of course if you're writing historical fiction or non-fiction, but when it's a person close to you, in real life…I just don't know. Doesn't your fiction just turn into self-therapy at that point? Or something more or less cathartic or narcissistic? The author of the above article actually points out, at one point, that how she saw herself and how she hoped people would see her, came through her fiction in an alter-ego character who was very similar to her grandmother-based character…

Maybe some people would love to be written about, but other people are bound to be like: "Is that how you really see me?" or "You're just really obsessed with your self-image…"

I try to delete or correct anything I find autobiographical in my own work, but, I suppose…it might happen whether I intend it to or not…

Source: reddit post


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