Dear fellow writers,
Here is a question: I'm writing a romance novel for this year's NaNoWriMo, and three days in, I just realised that, whilst my book is completely fictional, I fear that my girlfriend, who is also writing and will inevitably read my book, may think that some of the story relates to her.
Whilst, granted, a writer can sometimes use their own feelings and experiences in their work, I fear that people close to you may assume, because of one or two similar traits to themselves, that that character is them and that, if something happens in the story, it is a subtle hint of your feelings.
In my book, the first few chapters are about a guy and girl relationship that doesn't work out because of another person. My biggest fear is, my girl friend may believe this is about her and if I was to break up with her in the future, will she search in this book for clues?
I just wanted to know, do other writers have this problem? and how do you avoid this?
I'm usually a sci-fi fantasy writer so my characters are usually so out there that no one would think this, but given this is my first crack at a romantic story, could someone misconstrue my completely fictional tale?
I appreciate your advice. I love basing minor details on friends, family and personal experiences, and when I do, I always am honest.
I based a short novel series loosely on my three room mates, and I remember sitting them down and saying "guys, this is just fiction. If I write something in there that you read and it's about one character joking about the habits of another, it's only just made up for laugh. I'm not venting and dropping hints in my book." Luckily.... they just dont care! :)
I have let my girl friend know the situation, and to be honest, she isn't selfish or petty at all, and she wasn't too concerned, provided that I didn't reveal anything personal, which I never would.
In honesty, it really isn't a big deal at the moment and that female character really isn't her- she is just a character I invented to fill the "set up" before the main plot, however there are some minor parallels there which naturally, she will then hone in believing that it is her. She said it herself: It's natural to want to be an inspiration. However when the twist happens in the book and the relationship hits the climax issue, I don't want anyone (mainly silly mutual friends) to say "Look, he is venting in his book. He wants his second character more than the first character".It just doesn't help that the main character sounds a bit like me, given that it is quite a personal tear jerker story told in first person and therefore I've made the guy have some of my personal traits so as I can relate and make it feel real... hence adding to the "hey that's us" factor!
This is why I ask- I just wanted to know if other writers would have this issue- surely it must come up a hell of a lot.
Perhaps I'm over thinking it now...