Monday, February 20, 2012

So, is it autobiographical?

At this writing, I'm at Lake DeGray State Resort near Hot Springs, Arkansas. I had the opportunity to do a little magic for a group of Arkansas Baptist leaders and families, and we had a great time. (Magic is just one of those hobbies that got out of hand - check out if you're so inclined.)

One attendee had heard about "Reign of Silence" from a Facebook posting and like a lot of readers had a boatload of questions. His main question, though? "Is it autobiographical?"

I sure can't speak for other authors, but in my case, as a fiction writer, the answer is ... just a little. I am NOT my protagonist, Joshua. But as far as some of the scenes - there is an occasional smidgen of truth. They say "write what you know," and that's what I did.

I have a quirky theory. I think there is a little guy who resides in your mind. It's his job to keep the more bizarre parts of your subconscious all bottled up and safe, because if it were to seep out too much, you'd be committed to a little room and spend the rest of your life writing in crayon. BUT - sometimes during dreams, and sometimes in creative moments, he lets some of that stuff ooze out into our conscious mind. And we're compelled to write about it. For me, that's why when I'm in the zone and there's some serious juju going on, I write stuff I don't even know. Those characters take on lives of their own and I have to work like the dickens just to keep up. I know plenty of writers go to extraordinary length to plot every setpiece, but my brain doesn't work that way. I began Reign of Silence thinking one particular major character was going to die, and I was just delighted when they didn't. 

Weird, I know, but there y'are.

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