Monday, March 1, 2010

There's Only One You by Morgan Mandel

You may have friends with similar tastes. You may live in a neighborhood with similar houses. You may look like other people, yet not quite. That's because there's only one you. You are a unique person, with your own background, family, and memories.

Remember that when you write. I'm not saying to cram all of your views into your manuscripts. What I am saying is to develop your own style. Sure, you can learn from other authors who have mastered the craft, but bottom line is it's your voice that needs to shine through.

No one can write like you do because they haven't experienced life exactly as you have. Become one with your characters. Enrich them with your own emotions taken from the joys, triumphs, sorrows and disappointments you're already lived through. The instances won't be the same, but the way you express your feelings will put the reader deep into your point of view.

One way of doing this is by including something that happened in your life, but put a different spin on it. I'm borrowing from one of my experiences in my work-in-progress called Forever Young. A while back, I was bitten on the face by what appeared to be a friendly dog. It was a horrid sight. Fortunately, a plastic surgeon repaired the area so well you wouldn't be able to tell where it happened. In my novel, it's a different story. The face of the person bitten can't be repaired. The result is his outward looks become a mirror of his grotesque thoughts.

So, give the reader what no one else can provide. Take advantage of the fact that there's only one you.

What other ways can think of to make a book unique? Have you included something in a book you'd like to share?


unwriter said...

It's not in a book but in my stories. I have a porcupine named Koko that takes in orphans.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of "me" not only in my protagonist but in the antoagonist. Chase is all the things I wsh I were, a little bit taller, a little faster, smarter, better looking, drives a nicer car, a better education, a better job. I even wrote a blog about this entitles, DO YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE THROUGH YOUR CHARACTER."

i END THE BLOG, "So, even though two of my dreams never came to fruition, I can still live them (sort of) through my protagonist.:

Stephen Tremp

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

My characters are nothing like me, but I use some of my experiences and others that I know in my books.

What I do though, is attempt to get inside my POV character and look out through her eyes and experience things as she experiences them.


Cheryl said...

The first manuscript I completed--co-authored by one of my sisters--which will probably never see the light of day, is loosely based on the lives of me and my sisters as young mothers.

The three sisters grew up rivals and that rivalry has only grown through the years. But when the youngest one is diagnosed with ovarian cancer--which never happened to any of us--the sisters are forced to pull together despite their many differences.

Other than that, I can't say that any of my experiences have made it into my writing.