In my last NaPoWriMo entry, I didn’t remove the missing poem before I posted it. I had shown to someone before posting, whose feelings I’d ended up hurting by writing it.
It wasn’t true enough for them, even though I’m a fiction writer.
Maybe I’m just lying out my ass all the time. I wondered that today; I wondered how much people think we creative sorts actually resemble our characters. I wonder if anyone thinks I’m outgoing and self-depricating like Vic Salazar. I wonder if anyone thinks Steve Szczytko is perpetually grumpy (he is) like Professor Magnus Obsidian. I wonder if people think my relationships are borne of pity and avoidance like my characters’ are.
In reality, the stories I write are fiction. The poetry I write is fiction, too. The characters actors play are fiction.
But fiction doesn’t preclude the truth.
I’ve always said in my relationships that I care more about the potential of a person than their specific situation. The best mentor figures for me haven’t been those that held my hand all the way, but the ones who allowed me independent with the approach that they genuinely believed I could succeed. They believed in my potential. As to how this connects to fiction, a good story is written on its own — not that it doesn’t require lots of craft or an author, but rather that it makes sense in its own universe, that you could imagine the characters and the places doing anything else than the things they do in the narrative.
So, as a writer, truth is its own independence, it’s own narrative. An audience will interpret what is presented to them, and interpret it with their own internal narrative, with their own baggage and bias.
Removing bits and pieces from your narrative rather than allowing those threads to weave into the overall feels untrue to me. It means you’re forbidding your audience, in retrospect, from traversing the narrative off-screen.
I don’t party a lot. It’s true that Vic does. And she puts off doing her laundry, and so do I. I never picked up smoking, but a weedy little teen girl I knew a long time ago went hunting with me for cigarette butts on campus; it’s real and true and fictitious.
As someone writing a personal-public journal, it’s fully within one’s right to delete certain threads, certain days, certain unwanted things. But do keep in mind that by releasing your life to the public, your sudden eviction of shared experience is disruptive to those following your story.