View Full Version : Authors as Characters...
February 11th, 2005, 05:46 PM
I once heard that an author who creates a character that is... well, an author, is creating that character with personality traits of themselves or using real life experiences in the book that happen to this character. I've read a couple of books that have had authors for main characters, whether reporters or actualy novelists. How often to writer's use this type of character? Is it too common or too unoriginal? Is it even interesting to read? :cool: I ask only because the main character in my book is an aspiring book writer, and later on in the saga she is published and becomes famous. It is critical to the sequal that she is an author because the fact that she is published and all over the news brings about the 'problem' of the story. It just occured to me ~I wonder if reading about someone who writes is interesting :confused: ~ :D :D
February 11th, 2005, 05:52 PM
A protagonist who is a writer is a common element. But the idea that any writer character must be the author in disguise is ridiculous. Right now, one of the things I'm reading is "Bimbos of the Death Sun" by Sharyn McCrumb, a murder mystery that takes place at a sf/fantasy convention. The detective/protagonist is a professor who wrote a sf novel and is a guest speaker at the convention. I'm pretty sure that he is nothing like Ms. McCrumb. Stephen King had a lot of fun poking fun at himself in "Misery" with a bestselling romance writer who's trying to write a literary novel. The character is nothing like King in appearance or personality, but the difficulties of bestsellerdom probably did come from King's own experience. An author can certainly use himself or herself as the basis for a character and make that character a writer, but no writer is obligated to do so. It's purely a matter of choice.
February 11th, 2005, 09:38 PM
Bimbos of the Death Sun was followed by Zombies of the Gene Pool with a murder in a SF writer's group. All the writers are men.
February 12th, 2005, 12:10 PM
Right, and Sharyn, the writer, isn't male. Although they were written in the late 1980's and meant to be a comic mystery, it's also a very accurate portrayal of what sf/f writers deal with at cons. Might not be a bad idea for sf/f writers to check out. I'm enjoying it so far.
February 12th, 2005, 03:29 PM
I don't even remember where I heard that theory and I don't know what whoever meant by it :p I just assumed it meant that the author was putting a little piece of themselves into the character :confused:
Anyways, Sometimes I do have a hard time finding careers or jobs that fit my characters, and at first in my first book I wasn't sure if I wanted her to be an author. But now that I've moved towards the second installment in her life it's become a pretty big issue. Personally I think it's more interesting for her to start out being a soldier and by the end turn into a best selling author. Kind of a huge switch, huh :p (BTW it's the story I'm posting in the community called Cabin Demise)
February 12th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Wasn't Nick in the Great Gatsby an author? He also told the story.
February 12th, 2005, 10:08 PM
Dr. Watson was both a doctor and a writer in the Sherlock Holmes stories. There's a lot of writers in stories, some of them probably are the real author's alter-ego in the story. But not all of them.
At least being a writer is a profession the writer knows first hand.
February 13th, 2005, 01:52 AM
It seems like almost every second book I read by Stephen King had a writer as a main character!
February 14th, 2005, 11:18 AM
It's not unheard of and can be done well or not. For the most part, an author character is still a character and so are developed as seperate, individual entities.
I would think, for the most part, the average joe guy would not make a truly compelling story book character cause, well, to the average person, such story book events don't occur.
An interesting side note:
In the Dark Tower novels Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower, Stephen King writes himself in as a character, but more so, as HIMSELF with all of his own personal flaws, quirks, and habits. It is sort of bizarre and amusing, but IMO seems to make sense given the context of the story.
February 14th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Hey, Hitchcock appeared in just about every movie he directed.
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