The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.
Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.
This month's question is:
"Have you ever slipped any of your own personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to see how I answered the question, have a look below.
|Image via The Graphics Fairy|
"Simon, where are you?" I looked around for the grouchy, old gray cat that decided to move onto my boat about a year ago. "I've got a surprise for you."
Simon peered out from behind a throw pillow. "It better be a good, lady. Last time you brought me a surprise it was a leash. As if any self-respecting cat would let themselves be taken for a walk," he said with a snarl.
I looked down at the ball of black fur cuddled against my chest. "Look, it's the cat from the boat next to us."
Simon narrowed his eyes and growled.
"You know, Blackberry Jam," I added. "It's on account of the fact that she's got black fur, only her humans call her Jam for short. Isn't that just the cutest name?"
Jam looked up at me and purred at the mention of her name. I put her down on the settee next to Simon. She ran up to him and sniffed his nose by way of greeting.
Simon responded by hissing loudly and swatting her across her nose with his sharp claws.
Jam ran back, jumped on my lap and gave a few pitiful meows. While I stroked her back, I stared at Simon.
"Why are you being so rude to our guest?"
"Who asked you to bring over a guest?" Simon lazily washed behind his ears with his paw. "Besides, lady, that stupid cat isn't even real. She's just a figment of your imagination."
"What are you talking about?" I scratched the top of Jam's head. "She's sitting right here. She's real."
"Oh, come on. You told me once that you used to have a black cat named Jam. You're just using stuff from your real life in this stupid blog post because you're too lazy to make up any new stuff."
I shook my head. "Sure, I had a cat named Jam, but for your information, mister, this Jam is nothing like my cat. See, she's sitting on my lap, purring away. The other Jam was skittish and wouldn't let me get within ten feet of her, unless I was feeding her."
Jam meowed and nudged her head against my hand so that I'd scratch under her chin. She was such a sweet cat. Maybe I could trade her for Simon with my boat neighbors.
"Is you want to delude yourself about that stupid cat, go right ahead." Simon stretched out on the settee. " But, how do you explain the main character in that stupid cozy mystery novel you always claim to be working on? She's just like you."
"What do you mean? She's nothing like me!"
"Of course she is. She's obsessed with chocolate, she thinks aliens are real and she's not very good at sailing. Sound familiar, lady?"
I decided I didn't like the direction this conversation was taking. "You know what Simon, you go ahead and stay in here and be grumpy all by yourself. I'm going to use that leash of yours and take Jam for a walk."
Jam meowed excitedly at the sight of the leash and eagerly let me fasten it on her. As I started to carry her up on deck, Simon called out, "Hey, while you're out get some more milk, lady. And make sure it's the full-fat kind, not that stupid skim milk you always try to pawn off on me."
If you're a writer, do you slip personal information into your characters? Which cat would you prefer to live with - Simon or Jam? What's your favorite cat or dog names?
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