A Bit of Him, a Bit of Them, Plus a Lot of Me

miltie 001It is generally true that any kind of artist, whether they make portraits, or paintings, or novels, or poems, or photos of landscapes, or photos of cats,  is making a self-portrait more than anything else.  It is true that no matter what form an artwork takes, you see it from the perspective of the artist.  You are shown what they see.  You are led to think their thoughts.  Characters in books are usually telling at least in part, the author’s life story.  That’s why I use so many real people that I once knew to model the people in my stories and drawings upon.  You must write about what you know, and your own self is what you know best.  This Paffooney of young Milt Morgan is a picture of me.  It actually looks like what I once looked like.  Milt as a novel character thinks and acts as I once did.  Anyone that knew me fifty years ago will tell you how much this looks like me.  Of course the number of folks who knew me back then continues to seriously dwindle.

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3 responses to “A Bit of Him, a Bit of Them, Plus a Lot of Me

  1. Rococopay

    Sometime I have the problem of writing a lot into a novel without using the right descriptions then I remember they can’t read my mind (even though that’s what a novel sort of is)

  2. I worry a lot too about what I think the reader already knows about a scene or a character. Just because it is clear to me, doesn’t mean it makes sense to them. And good fiction lets the reader jump to his own conclusions. If you spell everything out, they will feel like they are being talked down to. I try to make them think what I think and feel what I feel with the fewest direct descriptions I can get by with.

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