Monthly Archives: November 2012

True Character

When people encounter you, do they see the real you?

A lot of the time, they probably won’t. Us human beings in this modern, western society are generally adept at projecting a persona to those around us. So the “you” at work isn’t the same as the “you” at church and neither are the same as the “you” to your cousins. That is, if you have cousins. Or go to church. Or have a job. Can be a bit of a problem when these worlds collide.

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Realistic Courage

What makes your life interesting? What do you get up to that is exciting, different, strange? What do we let ourselves do to get away from the dull, ordinary, the boring?

It might be a cliché to say that this is why some writers write. A writer can live vicariously through his characters. On a basic level, a character in a story can get up to things a writer cannot. Exotic, impossible things. Ride the Orient Express in the late 19th century? Fly a spaceship to the moons of Jupiter? Hunt a woolly mammoth? But they can also do less overt things. Like run for office in their city. Like solve an impossible murder mystery. Like defuse a long-forgotten bomb from World Word II. Or even more subtle things. Standing up to the boss’s boss even though it means instant dismissal. Asking that girl out in high school even if she’s already seeing someone. Probably.

I would go so far to say that a writer must live vicariously through his characters.

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On Emerging Writers

What is an “emerging writer”? Emerging from where? And I thought writers developed. They don’t spring upon the world fully formed. But perhaps “developing writer” doesn’t sound quite so good.

I went to the Emerging Writers Festival in Sydney yesterday. I nearly didn’t go but a friend was asking on Twitter and that put the thought in my head. I had often read about the EWF in Melbourne, where it covers a week or more of programs. Then, too, I’d been to the Sydney Writers Festival this year and was distinctly underwhelmed. The problem with the SWF is that most of the program seems to be adulation of writers, with just a fraction of the content about helping new writers.

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