“If you start trying to pretend that you’re writing like somebody else…that’s where you’ll fall down. If you just write as you talk to yourself, then I think that almost everybody does have a story to tell and it will escape if you let it.”
— Maeve Binchy, Tara Road
I love reading what well-known writers have to say about the craft of writing. I wholeheartedly agree with what Ms. Binchy says here. I’m an advocate of authenticity, true voice and being real.
But what do you do when your “voice” eludes you? I’ve been a fiction writer since I could hold a pencil. And in the last year have changed gears to write more nonfiction. It’s like a switch flipped and my alter ego is now in charge.
My fiction stories are hibernating, just waiting for their season again. I’m browsing through notebooks full of short stories and excerpts from my novel-in-progress, searching for a piece that I can revise and submit to the WOW! Women On Writing short fiction contest. But nothing sounds real. Nothing rings true like a conversation I’d have with myself. Or, it is too true, too close to home.
How do you separate fact from fiction? Are the characters you create ever truly all make believe, or does a part of you reside in them?