We’ve all done it.
Most authors in some way, shape, or form include themselves in the books they are writing. They’re just a little less obvious. C. S. Lewis included himself as the boy who planted the tree that started the portal connection to Narnia. Poetry writers, write their emotions or experiences. Fiction writers make references to their personalities weaved into the primary faces of a character. As authors, we write what we know.
However, none of us, want a reader to perceive us as pretentious or prideful. If we’re writing a life experience, sharing a deep emotion in a fictional world, or showcasing some truth we learned along the way: we never tell the reader - this character, this emotion, this thing that happened: it’s me.
My family’s personally noted the intentional mistake I have made. I included myself (directly), in both personality and character description by name in the book I’m writing. Why? 2 reasons.
I don’t want someone to mistake the character, “The Author,” as the actual author of the book. I’m not a god in the fictional universe I’m recounting.
I’m recounting dreams. I lived this universe in my dreams as a young child - I’m adapting them to books with the hope of making movies out of them. I think it’s fresh, entertaining, and at the end of each book - a showcase of men and woman not just surviving extreme circumstances but with faith - thriving beyond them!
I think it’s unique and creative, but I doubt it’s going to win me any awards (so to speak).
I’ve gotten mixed feedback. Most of my readers are like, that’s cool, and you’re honest but some of my personal friends and family are like: that’s like writing 101 - don’t mess with the chintu of writing.
So, I’m opening Pandora’s box and ask all the writers in the community for their consensus. What are your thoughts about writing yourself in your work? Is that a good thing? Is it lazy writing? Is it provocative? A dangerous choice. Is it being honest with your intentions as an artist? Or is it taboo and shouldn’t be done.
I would love your thoughts on the matter,
Justin K, @jumpcutking, author
** I forgot to add some context. We’re talking about fictional stories, from another universe. **