I was a Different Person When I Wrote That


I’m convinced that I was a different person when I wrote His Only Star. I mean, I don’t know what was going on in my head, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a character’s head as much as I was in Oliver’s (the main character in His Only Star). Usually I’m in my character’s heads, but I don’t always fully know who they are until I reach the end of the book. But I knew Oliver inside and out, backward and forward, and… You know… now that I mention it, there’s a lot of myself in Oliver, which would explain why I know him so well. Of course, Oliver isn’t an exact replica of me. But there are subtle parts of myself that I included in his character (which I won’t reveal! Ha!)

But it’s interesting to think how different I was when I was writing that. I mean, I even woke up at 5 a.m. once (ON PURPOSE) to work on it! And, while I really should put in that sort of effort with all of my books, something about His Only Star really spoke to me. Something made me hammer out those 24,979 words, and I wish I could find it again and make it work toward Black Powder Brigade. I’ll have to do some digging around for it.

Anyway, I’m glad I had this little realization, and I’m glad you all could be here for it.

Have you ever felt like you weren’t quite yourself when you wrote something? 

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8 thoughts on “I was a Different Person When I Wrote That

  1. I like His Only Star very much (as you know from my review). The voice was so strong I could tell there was something of the writer in there. It was very effective and worked brilliantly for that narrative. But getting yourself in there to that sort of degree is not something that you can or maybe even should employ every time. I find you find a different way of ‘getting into’ narratives and characters with every story. I look back on old work and worry sometimes when I see the passion there and remember the fervour with which I engaged with it and worry that I approach my other projects differently now. But hopefully it’s not better or worse, just different. I’m passionate about differnet things, like the tone or the events or the style or a particular character. I think you only need to worry when you don’t feel anything at all, and it certianly doesn’t sound like you ever need to worry about that problem 🙂

  2. The weird thing about writing for me, is I feel I am less writing, more describing the movie in my head.

    That’s not to say I am writing a movie, just that I don’t seem to consciously direct the action.

    During a heavy writing stint, I have an idea what is going to happen, but it can easily veer off in another tangent, and I am watching the movie in my head, as I have no idea what’s going to happen,

    For me its wonderful, as I am getting the excitement that a reader gets.

    And sometimes I sit with a pen (I love fountain pens), and write the first words that come into my head until I get “In the zone” and a story just pops out. Not usually for public consumption, but I have pads and books full of random mind wanderings,

    The next few months will be interesting with my first novel due out, to see if my “mind movie” is enjoyable to other people

    • I know exactly what you mean, Phil. I, too, see somewhat of a movie playing in my head when I write. I think that makes it a little easier because I can just write down what I see.

  3. I look back on all my work and think “I was a different person when I wrote that.” I always think it negatively. I can’t think of one thing I haven’t written thinking it was the best thing under the sun and looked back on it later with disgust.

    As far as being a different person in a positive sense (I had more passion, excitement, drive, etc.), I guess I’ve been there too. I averaged around 1,800 words a day during NaNoWriMo IN 2011, and once the month was finished but the draft wasn’t, I kept that pretty steady. On the day I finished the “book” I wrote 5,000 words, which, for me, is insanity. But that project was INTENSELY personal. I felt like I was typing in my own blood. The characters were too close to me and because every theme in the story was so intrinsically connected with myself the pressure was enormous. On top of that, I was too close to see it was all crap. Maybe not all; 90% of it was crap haha. Anyway, now that I’m writing something else and the themes are less personal (but still resonate), I’m enjoying myself a lot more. The writing is better as well; I’m thinking about what’s realistic or what the character wants rather than what I want. While I’m not pounding out 1,800 words a day on this project, I think it will be better in the long run. There’s even a chance I won’t read it two years from now and think “KILL IT WITH FIRE!”

    • I usually think negatively when I think back, and even look back at my previous works. Even with some parts of His Only Star, I see things I could’ve written differently. However, I think that’s most definitely a sign that you’re improving as a writer.

  4. There have been a few times where I have lost myself to the writing. Usually, and somewhat disturbingly, it is when something awful is happening. The antagonist is feeling particularly chuffed about what they did. Or in another instance it was transformative, close to spiritual, even though it was the end of an important character. That moment was both cathartic and an epiphany. I felt more like the character than me and it was interesting. It was also mildly disturbing since the character was a woman. But whatever. I think it is part of the overall process and practic

    • BAD IPHONE!!! INTO THE CORNER! *ahem* as I was saying… Practice of being a writer. We strive to move our readers to respond with some emotion depending on the scene and it should not be any surprise when we ourselves get swept along too. In fact I would like to think that I strive to become someone else each time I turn to write something, that I can invest myself so fully that I lose sight of myself for a while and exist in the world I have fabricated. Lost in the daydream \^_^/. Once there, we can be a part of the world and the writing then takes on the ‘write what you know’ aspect that teachers have spent many years telling each group of students that comes before them.

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