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Friday, July 15, 2011

Wishful Living: An Author's Life

I recently started thinking of why I love to write so much. For some authors, it's just as much an escape as it is for their readers. For others, it's a stimulating occurence that meshes imagination and life together. For me, it's wishful living.
"Ha!" You might say. "Wishful living? You want to be caught in the 1940's, possibly fighting a war, dealing with rations and victory gardens and losing loved ones?"
Let me go into more detail of the term. It would help to come out and say that I've never been married and I am currently single (and have been for quite a while now). All of my stories begin in moments when my heroines are ready to fall in love (even if they don't realize it themselves).
But I've never experienced the kind of intimacy I write, which is probably why I relish the process of building intimacy between heroes and heroines so very much. It's wishful, a projection of what I want in my future relationship with a husband that, like my heroes, can withstand an honest, very candid, opinionated and strong woman. Part of me lives through my characters, part of me strives to be like them.
In truth, my characters have taught me many things about life simply because they become entities that require me to step away from myself and into their minds, their emotions, their experiences. They take my fascination and breathe life into it.
I can sit at a coffee shop or at home, or be watching a movie, and be inspired to include certain ideas in my stories. A lot of people who have critiqued my work wonder how I come up with certain details here or there, and I usually tell them the exact inspirational moment in which the idea sprouted. So there are things I take from the life I have and insert them into the life my characters own. The wishfulness comes into play as I imagine the result of such a detail.
See, real life isn't as controllable as fiction. Real life isn't full of a cast of actors waiting to find symbolism in a sunset or rain or colors.
But I write what I wish was true.

4 comments:

Kelly Wolf said...

I love this post! Married or not married- I doubt there are many men who live up to their true potential (and even if they don't, I'd like to live under the impression that they still could:D).
I write as a catharsis. I will never experience what I write about physically, but my mind can sure take me on rides I'll never forget!!
Thanks for the candidness in your post...

Courtney L said...

Thanks, Kelly! I was just reading it over and wondered whether this was a little too candid. Sometimes the really honest posts backfire...
I know what you mean about catharsis, too. Writing out the hot scenes in my stories helps make me feel better about my singledom, and writing out the totally impossible scenes makes me want to dive deeper into whatever world I'm in. Perhaps that's why I'm so calm after a good day of writing!

Sarah Raplee said...

There's an element of wishful living in all romance writing, I think. Even the most perfectly-matched couples have to deal with the hardships and tragedy and human frailties and plain old irritations of real life. In our stories, those couples prevail and earn their happily-ever-afters. Writing these stories uplifts me. :)

Judith Ashley said...

Writing is one way to experience the life I'd like to live, create my idea of a great relationship with a man. There are times when I draw on my own personal experiences but when it comes to that relationship? Nope...that's when the wishful thinking comes in.