Monday, February 10, 2014

Back on the psychiatrist's couch

Ana does some homework. 

I am taking an online class that is really helping (forcing) me to define my main characters' internal and external conflicts.
I just turned in a homework assignment, and as I poured another cup of coffee, I was struck by how my characters' issues mirror my personal life.

My Hero's core beliefs: 

                   Women can't be trusted (his fiancee dumped him for his younger brother.)
                   No woman wants to live on a remote working ranch. (this is why his fiancee dumped him.)
                   He's better off alone--if your family betrays you, who can you trust?

                                                                My Heroine's core beliefs: 
                  Her "family" is so strange, she's permanently "marked" as strange.
                  She has to stay on the ranch (good thing she loves it) because it's the only place where she's not ridiculed.
                 She'll never marry. (The ranch hands (who raised her) love her, but no one her age ever will.)

This story was my first attempt a writing a romance, and I definitely poured out my inner demons. 
Time, study, and two first drafts have brought me to a place-space where I believe I can get out of my way. Focus on telling the heroine's story. 

Two other stories are waiting. They have autobiographical aspects, too, but not as many as this one. 
I may be a recovering crazy person, using writing as my therapy. Maybe I'll get to a point where a story does not mine some inner aspect of my being. 
Or maybe not. I'm pretty deep. 


  1. I think selective use of your own issues can add a 3 dimensional aspect to your characters, but you have to be careful. The class sounds interesting.

  2. Interesting post, Ana. I think I'm the complete opposite to you as I don't include any of myself in my characters (at least, not consciously!). On the contrary, I 'escape' from myself into my characters' personalities and lives.

  3. I do tend to include personal things in my stories (Hopefully disguised enough to not do any damage to persons living or dead! :)...including myself.) I find if I'm creating from an emotion or happening I've actually experienced, I can really dig deep into that POV and make the story more real.

  4. Debra - my characters' emotional reactions comes them and not from me.
    This makes me realise I don't reveal anything of myself in my novels!

  5. I definitely do not reveal anything of myself, not intentionally anyway. The main characters, especially the heroines, have traits or characteristics that I may wish I had.