Newsletter 007, January 28, 2022
About the image above: I took this picture of the Lincoln Memorial on my third visit to Washington, DC. It’s one of the images I used in a short video I created called Lincoln’s Tears. A link to the video is included at the end of the newsletter.
As I mentioned in the If a Butterfly Companion Book,** when I first started working on Butterfly for the 2003 NaNoWriMo, I was in a hurry to create characters and devise a basic plot for the books, so I borrowed from real life (mostly my own). Some of the characters are (at least around the edges) based on myself and my wife, some are based on people I know, and a few real people also make brief appearances in the books. Largely, though, I created the characters for both books based on the professions I assigned them. I mostly made those choices because I had either done those jobs myself or at least had some familiarity with them, and that would allow me to quickly inhabit the characters more accurately, with less initial research.
I also based some of the incidents in the books on things I had done (although the content of the scenes was invariably altered during the writing). One good example is a scene that takes place at the Lincoln Memorial. I won’t give away too much of the plot here, except to say it involves three of the characters (the research scientist, the actress, and the teacher) when they all visit the memorial at the same time. I channeled the feelings I felt during my first visit into what the characters were feeling during the scene. The inner thoughts and responses of a character are often more important than the emotion they display (or don’t display) to those around them.
Check out the link to the Lincoln’s Tears video below.
** This newsletter is being sent to subscribers to my mailing list. They should already have a copy of the If a Butterfly Companion Book, but if you are reading this because someone forwarded a copy of the newsletter to you, and you would like a copy of the companion book, you can sign up for my mailing list at the link below, and download a free copy for yourself.
See you next time.
[“Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.” Goethe]
Here’s a link to the video of Lincoln’s Tears.
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