Cynthia from Creative Writing Corner wrote an interesting post about how her life and history shapes the themes in her writing. It’s an interesting exercise, looking at how your life defines your writing.
For instance, I’m sure many authors have written about the relationship between fathers and daughters. But I only realized last week that both of my books (Catching the Rose and the WIP, Trentwood’s Orphan) discuss the topic. What happens when a daughter loses her father? How does that influence her and her decisions for the rest of her life? And what about the characters who haven’t lost their fathers… what am I saying about their relationships? A doubly interesting question, as I haven’t lost my father. What does this say about me?
I also seem to have my main characters travel at some point in their story, and not because they want to but because they feel they have to. This is probably a reflection of my childhood through pre-teen years, where my family and I traveled around the country so my dad could approve/deny grant proposals. Safe to say that I still don’t like to travel, but I do it. My characters are always pensive while traveling, always part of a group, but almost purposely separate. Alone in a friendly crowd, as it were.
So it seems as though my life has a heavy influence on my writing. Is this good or bad? Are you having the same experience? Let me know your thoughts.
I will say that recognizing my pervading themes has really helped me tighten the WIP as I go through final edits. I can see the threads holding everything together, and the purpose behind everything. Pretty cool.
In other news, PubRants has written a quick post on the two most common newbie writer mistakes. Make sure you don’t do them. And Lynn Viehl is going to hold an online virtual workshop conference. I’m thinking of participating… maybe mine will be on editing the first draft once you finally complete it.