There are some things you just don’t do as a writer. At least I don’t. I never refer to anything I’m writing as a “book” or a “novel” because they aren’t. Until they’re out there in the world, they’re just stories and I talk about them as such. I never only save to a hard drive and haven’t since a completed story that an editor had shown interest in was nuked by a fried hard drive. And unlike some people, I have never had a main or supporting character who was a writer of any kind.
I have written about detectives, a photographer, architects, an atmospheric scientist, a pathologist, an ex-spy, an indie musician, a comic artist, and those are just the main characters. I’ve mostly considered writing about writers to be boring because it’s harder to get into the mind of someone you’ve never met or been and it often requires a lot of research. This, to me, makes it quite fun. Telling a story about someone who’s doing the same thing you’ve done since you were a little sprog dragging around your grandmother’s old typewriter and misappropriating ribbons for it from your aunt’s office just seems too easy.
Unfortunately for me, if there’s one thing my characters love it’s getting me back for all the shit I put them through (and I put them through a LOT). Many of my ideas come from dreams I’ve had or lyrics from songs that strike me a certain way and recently both struck me at once. A wonderful idea came together filled with drama, humor, a mystery of sorts, and a guy who used to be a famous reporter. “Hell no,” I said to myself, attracting the attention of several cats. “No character of mine is going to be a journalist.” I then realized that I sounded like my mother, and not in a good way.
Even more unfortunately, I wasn’t able to come up with anything for this guy to do that would allow him to get into the drama or mystery other than be a writer. So here I am writing about a writer, and it’s actually harder than I expected. Maybe it’s because I’m determined to not make this about me, but I don’t know. I’m really enjoying the story and characters, but this still feels so wrong. We’ll see how this plays out.