Writers are a bit of a self-indulgent bunch. I came across this realisation, properly, whilst talking to a work colleague. I was talking about the book I’m reading “Before I go to Sleep,” and in the same conversation was telling him that he MUST watch the new movie “Gone, Girl,” that Hubbie and I had watched over the weekend. Freaking trippy it was.
Anyway. It occurred to me. Here is the main character of Sleep book, Christine, who discovers herself to have amnesia to the point that her memory is pretty much wiped clean, bar some odd earlier memories, EVERY SINGLE DAY. In the part that I’m currently up to, she discovered on one such day, that she used to be a writer. Case 1 in point.
In Gone, Girl, both main characters are writers too. Case 2 in point. It got me thinking, and though I can’t recall any to mind I just KNOW I’ve read/heard other stories where writers write about a writer as one of, or their sole, lead character.
Other similar examples spring to mind. Stephen King’s Misery, where a writer has a car accident and is found in the situation to be held hostage by a crazed fan of his works until he rewrites his latest book to the ending of her choice. That is about a writer, albeit a writer’s nightmare.
J.K. Rowling made Harry Potter’s birthday the same as her own. And in a different medium, the cartoonist Matt Groening, named the main characters of The Simpsons after members of his own family: his parents were Homer and Margaret, and his sisters were Lisa and Maggie.
There’s a little bit of a perception that writer’s shy away from the public eye, they don’t crave the attention or perform outlandish acts, dress in bizarre outfits and get drunk at the corner hotel only to take home a prostitute at 2am on a Saturday night and get snapped by paparazzi, like other entertainers out there. That’s not really the norm you see of people in this profession, and yet still, they’re putting their stamp, their mark on their work, in the most subtle and natural way they know how.
Through their characters.
I think it’s bloody fantastic. In fact you can expect to find me in all of the characters of my book.