FWR just posted the first installment of Quotes and Notes, a monthly craft essay series by Steven Wingate. Each essay responds to a (famous or obscure) dictum on writing from a prominent fiction writer. This month’s quotation comes from Raymond Carver:
“You are not your characters, but your characters are you.”
Let’s face it: fiction writers do not have a reputation for being carefree, untroubled souls. Even our fellow artists consider us broody navel-gazers who are overly introspective and perhaps even in love with our own problems. (We do, after all, tend to keep writing about characters whose psychic profiles overlap significantly with ours.) The general public is hardly more charitable, usually assuming that (a) we study them to gather material, or (b) we all write thinly-veiled autobiography, and are so blind as to not even be aware of it. Do we deserve assessments like these? Probably so…
Click here to read the rest of this essay.