Putting yourself in the story.
Considering stories are products of writers imaginations, it is hard for anyone to say that they don’t put themselves in their stories. A good plot, messaging, and character personality requires deep reflection. A simpatico relationship with characters is also a must, so all authors become invested in the narrative at some level.
However, that doesn’t mean that every author injects themselves as an actual character. I have yet to do so, although other people are fair game. But, that’s not the point. I have to admit, that there are elements of my experiences in my stories.
I drew from my experiences with racism and racial microaggressions and made the main character Regina in My Way to You subject to them as an African American woman. She and Simon also encounter challenges as an interracial couple too familiar to me.
Writing Toni’s struggle with infertility in the soon-to-be-released, Sweet Love-Bitter Fruit was difficult. I had to tap into some old pain from years of trying to have a baby. Similarly, the helplessness Marcus feels took some emotional musing from deep inside me.
All of these characters are unlike me, but semblances of my experiences influence their world and how they respond to it. I think that because authors mirror so much of their lives in their works, it is important for them to write and tell the stories from social intersections to which they belong. Staying in one’s cultural lane is critical to credible storytelling and allows writers to extract from genuine experiences. Ultimately, being honest and culturally relevant is beneficial for them and their stories.
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