Writer to Writer: Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D

Writer to Writer is a brief feature I’m doing in which I email a writer and ask a quick question about writing. Simple enough, right?

In today’s edition of Writer to Writer I’ve asked Paul DeBlassie III, author of The Unholy, as a writer how do you dissociate yourself and your experiences from the “character” you write when all the emotions and experiences you’ve ever had define how you perceive everything.

I was browsing his blog and the question came to me when I read this paragraph:

“Stories speak in an intuitive way for us. The characters can be facets of self that tell us something about ourselves and our life. We are intuitively drawn to read a story with characters that may address our life problems or challenges. When we read, we can be open and wonder and ponder and allow intuition to speak to us and offer helpful guidance and inspiration. After all, intuition is the voice of the soul and we can trust it.”

As a writer, you’re supposed to write what you know. I sometimes find myself writing exactly what I’m going through and I worry that I’m using the fictional world to express too much of what I want, or what I think I deserve. In that sense, I think writing can be a sad, miserable state of escape that serves as a delusional alternate reality for the writer.

Sorry, that’s grim. In other words I think it’s important to recognize that your characters should be well-defined, and not you, but things that happen to them can be things that happened to you. Anyway, Paul answered the question well. Listen to Paul.

“To me it’s not so much a matter of detaching as letting the character evolve imaginatively and take its own course knowing that our life experience, consciously and unconsciously, inevitably exerts its influence.”

You can check out Paul’s blog here.

Feel free to leave your thoughts, strategies, or anything else on letting characters evolve below!