Another writer’s conundrum rears its ugly head. So, I’m playing around with my cerebral literary babies, trying to decide which one takes my fancy (see: previous post on the difficulty of choosing a favourite – not advisable with your own human offspring, but quite OK with your story-babies.)
Here’s the thing. The one that keeps hogging all the attention features a protagonist who, if judged by certain fundamentals of her CV and life history, could be me. But that’s where the similarity ends. With where the story goes, and how her destiny plays out, we couldn’t be more different. If I bring her to the page, though, the association will be made.
As a maker-up-of-stories, of course I draw from my own experience and observations of others’ lives. And bits of me end up residing in all the characters I create. But none of them are self-portraits. I guess it’s a bit like actors – as anyone who’s ever met a thespian can tell you, the person who brings a fictional character to life seldom bears any resemblance to that character. So, I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you – spoiler alert!!! – although Hugh Jackman is a lovely man, he doesn’t actually sprout blades from his knuckles.
Anyway, back to the point at hand, dare I write a story with a character who will inevitably be associated with me, even though her relationships with those around her are the polar opposite of my own? Does it matter – or should it matter?
Now, back to arranging my armour collection. Yes, that is a Roman helmet. And, no, I’m not putting it next to my suit of armour. That would be too much.