I’ve got about 500,000 words behind me at this point. While in the past I’ve written a protagonist very similar to me, she wasn’t a complete Mary Sue. As she grew over the period of the series, she developed and changed – kind of a hybrid of me and who I wanted to be in high school. At no point did the character fancy herself a writer or author.
A book I downloaded recently has not one, but two wannabe authors as the main characters (the protagonist is a young woman and her college professor / paramour is – surprise! also a writer). Full disclosure, to date, I can’t say I’ve completely avoided including a writer in my works. As it stands, a chapter of my most recent WIP, Room 702, does include an author caught up in a moment of writer’s block. I would be lying if I didn’t say there’s a decent amount of meta (*a term, especially in art, used to characterize something that is characteristically self-referential. See link from the Urban dictionary here)
not to be confused with Metta World Peace involved in that chapter, which might clock in around 2,000 words. Is this hokey? Probably. Have I reached the stature of author where I can self-insert, a la Stephen King? No. Will readers potentially be annoyed? I hope not. It’s a short chapter and it’s not as if I’ve named her, Bourtney Brandt or Annie Benjamino. In fact, if anything, the author is someone I’d like to be – decently successful. We come from different backgrounds and her motivations and motivations I might have for being at the Winchester are very different.
So, as I read this current book, I have to wonder – really? Were there no other occupations in which these two characters could meet and fall in
lust love? Furthermore, the young woman, is, of course, not confident enough in her writing to share it with much of anyone why write it then and literally PASSES OUT when her friends submit one of her short stories into a literary magazine and HOLY HELL IT’S ACCEPTED. Please.
Since I’ve not finished the book yet, I can only imagine it ends something like: they both find successful writing careers (and love) with each other and go on to make writer babies. Blech.
While I’m not above a cameo in film or other art projects (Hitchcock is particularly fun), I’m getting highly annoyed with a book about a writer so involved in their process and becoming successful. I deal enough with that in real life, I do not need to read it in fiction.
What’s your take? Where do writers as characters fall in?