I have directed a few friends and family to my first short story “Meat”. First comes the proposal: I mention I have been writing and have finished a short story. The mark will give a flat reply, then I advertise my blog and the name of the story. I go on to describe the content of the story. During the description I say how most of the protagonist is really me. I always feel petty after the whole process. Feeling petty hasn’t been the truly difficult part. I can deal with feeling petty. I think the tribulation has come from me telling the readers how much of me contaminated the protagonist. Why would I reveal this? I count four reasons why this is a bad thing to do:
- the reader doesn’t care.
- now the reader is obligated to give positive feedback.
- the author will know the positive feedback is feigned, and take offense.
- all the demons that ended up the page will be known as the author’s demons.
Telling the reader a character is only an image of the author steals: the reader’s freedom to define the character; the author’s ability to freely develop the character; and the character’s ability to take on free will. From the start the author is working against themselves. I won’t be telling my readers how much or little of myself is any of my characters anymore. The value is left for the reader and author to define.
Where does the eidetic self-image come from?
The pristine reflection of the author appears because good writing is tough. You may feel like your saying some great stuff, but really it’s just shit. The author could simply be pouring out his insipid mental deficiencies. Writing too much of yourself into a character will most likely bore. Also the author opens the door into their psyche a little too wide, allowing people to come in and mess up the place.