In its way, everything we write reveals us. Not because we’re naming names, but because who we are—what we think, believe, and have experienced—comes through in what we choose to create.
Here’s an example. The novella I plan to publish later this year arose out of the juxtaposition of two very different elements. One element was my beloved Bonanza; in fact, the original version of the novella was created as fan fiction. The other element was my long-ago experience directing a high school drama club, where the kids were talented and enthusiastic and I was utterly clueless. Put the pieces together, revise the living daylights out of them, and voilà! It’s a lighthearted tale about siblings and community theater: My Brother, Romeo, slated for publication this fall.
When I was in high school, I wrote constantly. Stories spilled out of my brain, and my pencil was barely swift enough to catch them all. Sprawled on my bed, upright at my desk, out on the swing (where the stories raced around my mind, here and gone in nearly the same instant). Summer nights while the rest of the family slumbered, the hours ticking away as I reveled in my made-up world.
For some writers, stories spring into being, fully-formed and populated with fascinating, well-rounded characters. The act of writing is little more than taking dictation from the Muse, with perhaps a bit of sprucing up here and there to ensure that the foreshadowing is properly balanced with the revelation and the metaphors sparkle.