Monday, December 27, 2010

Being Me

"Be Yourself!" How many time have we heard that, in terms of our writing? It brought to mind a scene from this movie version of "Anne of Green Gables", where Anne Shirley has convinced her friends to send her down the river in a leaky boat in a dramatic reenactment of Tennyson's poem, "The Lady of Shalott". Watch this, and then I'll continue my thought.

You just have to laugh, but Anne typifies something so similar in us writers. Anne dreams the big dreams, the ones that are just so far away from her own reality, but then real life comes to wake her up. Not that our big dreams of being writers can't come true, or that we can't write about fantastical things. But what Anne had to learn, both in life and as a writer, is that what really sells is not "high-falutin'" talk, but characters based in reality. What would a real person do?

That's where we can mine our own experience to build our characters. Even if you are writing about pixies or ogres or an elf prince, they still have to have have personality traits that your reader can relate to.

Buon Lavoro!


  1. not only that, but getting a book published is not the end all. Sometimes our eyes are so focused on the goal that the end result can be a big disappointment until we realize it's really just the beginning...

  2. I LOVE "Anne of Green Gables"!! It's so true, that we dream big but reality crashes around us waking us up. But let's be honest, the reality of Anne hanging onto the bottom of bridge was way better than just watching her float serenely down the river! That's how it is for us as well, reality may be different from our dreams but often it's better!!

  3. You always get me thinking, Megan!

    What I love best bout Anne IS her eccentric dreaming. I always admired how she had the courage to not just dream, but pursue and be the very woman she wanted to be, no matter what others thought. I'm afraid I dream and that is where our similarities end. I should endeavor to be a little more like her.

    This is one of my favorite scenes from all the movies. Thanks for the trip back down memory lane.

  4. Whether I like it or not, all my characters have a little bit of me in them. Thanks Megan!

  5. Honestly the scene that really came to mind was when she gets her first manuscript back from the publisher saying that she needed to write something more realistically. But they didn't have that one on YouTube, lol.

  6. Thanks for this! It definitely describes what's going on with me lately- I'm working on a new writing project that's a little "outside the box" and after my initial crazed fervor, I had to take a step back for a reality check. I realized that I was so into my idea and so in my own little world, caught up in the excitement of a new idea that I might be seeing things as more than they were. I got the perspective of a few objective friends and now I'm a little calmer and confident that I'm headed down a good path. :-)



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