Trust Issue And Fiction


I’ve had trust issues for a long time, every since I lived with my nationalistic and anti-autistic room mate. Who is ironically as autistic as me.

Is it natural for things you have experienced to carry over into the fiction one writes? I know my favorite female author was an interesting case. (She didn’t just do middle grade, she was also a journalist and travelled a lot. Wore jeans in the 1930s.)

But I guess, with all the advice against using “self-inserts” (I’m not even really sure what that means to be honest.) I got the impression that wasn’t good practice.

But this always happens, in particular when referencing events that are familiar to me, when I’m writing contemporary fiction in particular.

Although I’ve tried contemporary, they always end up … as Magical Realism trying to be Science Fiction, and failing miserably.


Not to be a butt-cramp, but could you rewrite that? Are there missing nouns?

I’ll reply to the substance once I get what you’re saying.

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Sure sticky keyboard:

I’ve had trust issues for a long time, every since I lived with my nationalistic and anti-autistic room mate. Who is ironically as autistic as me.


I’ll jut fix the main post.

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I’ve not spent any time with people diagnosed with autism and can’t pretend to understand how it feels. So I’ll trust you in that regard.

As far as “self-inserts,” I use some of my characteristics and emotional reactions in my fiction. For instance, Metty, the MC in my sci-fi novel, is athletic, confident, self-directed, somewhat secretive and suspicious, and a hell of a good sailor. Like me in those respects. Which gives me something close and instinctive to draw on.

But she lives on an ocean planet in the far future, guarding the village from enemies, with a telepathic wolf as her partner.

Giving her some of my stuff doesn’t necessarily reveal or expose who I am. Fiction is rather protective in that way.

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It did look kind of nonsensical. I hate my keyboard, hes a bad dog sometimes.:smiley:


Being sort of obsessive, I always edit my posts. Often more than once.

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Editors are an ass … et! :smiley: OK bad joke.


What makes the muskrat guard his musk?


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Self-inserts are where an author places themselves in the story as a character, essentially. Instead of that character being a character, they are a somewhat fictitious representation of the author.

This is different from what you’re describing. It is indeed very natural to have aspects of yourself somehow wind up in your work; writing is a form of expression, after all. Doing so helps the author connect better with their characters and story, which then makes the story better and helps the audience connect with it, the characters, and the author.


That’s more or less what I do, as I imagine the action.

I’m killing the intruder, sneaking into the night, sailing through a storm.

A great pleasure of writing fiction is to inhabit your story.


Yea in mine, I’m finding certain characters keep showing up.

One French girl I dated come to mind for a romance.


I do agree with that. There’s a line somewhere that separates being in the character’s head and body and being the character, though.

But even if an author does decide to have the character be like them in every single way, it’s not too big a deal, so long as it isn’t painfully obvious they just want to basically write fanfiction about themselves, lol.


But Tommy Waseau.D: But he’s a special case.

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Despite your intentions, your experience counts.

My parents divorced when I was young and I grew up without a father. Without intending to make that a theme in my fiction, I do. In my sci-fi novel, a young woman sets off to rescue her father from captivity on an enemy island.

It was pretty well written before I sussed out the relation to my life.


Yea it’s just admitting I’m important enough to base ideas on.

I wasn’t expecting my latest works to be so … transparent. I’ve kind of closeted a lot of the fictional couples I’ve shipped, and don’t really discuss much the ones I don’t closet. Now they’ve morphed into a brown recluse.

I figured my experience a political activist would be in there, but other stuff … feel freakily self fan-fiction. Although closer to “Unfan Fiction.”

But that’s what revision is for.

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everything i write is embarrassingly transparent. :joy: but, as is the well-known saying: write what you know!


I’d say it’s better to write some of what you know and some you don’t. The book I referred to above takes place in a far future on a distant planet, very different to earth, that has a bright-pink ocean.

Mixing what you know with what’s strange offers more to your readers than your everyday self in costume.


I agree. That saying is more like a call to research - learn about what you want to write about.

It’s a different critter, IMO.


One of my favorite authors, Pat Conroy, writes from his personal experience a lot. Growing up in the South in the 60s, going to a military academy, having a black and a gay friend when it wasn’t cool, having a father in the Air Force, being a novelist. These are all elements in his novels that stem from his personal experience. Stephen King does it to a lesser extent…novelists in small Maine towns.

I have a book that takes place in my hometown but has nothing to do with me personally. But my latest novel book has lots of me in it. I think the key is not to base any characters directly on real people. I have characters which are amalgams of several people or personalities that I’ve encountered, and maybe certain real events inspired me to write a scene.

We all write what we know to some extent!

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Ernest Hemingway once said “writers sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” What he meant was that our stories contain our deepest hurts, fears, hopes and dreams. I think that’s absolutely true of the best writers. It’s often not intentional, it just happens. My stories definitely contain alot of myself and it’s never been intentional. That’s not self-insert, my characters are nothing like me. But i have experienced the fear, anxiety, emotional hurt and hopes of my characters. The cliche advice is to write what you know, and i think that means writing the emotions you know, not the actual facts or situations you know. I think it brings stories to life and makes them more real if you channel your own pyschology into a story. It’s more authentic. I really dislike unemotional, strictly plot driven stories. I want to feel what the author is trying to make me feel. I mean, jk rowling used her own experiences with depression to inspire the dementors in harry potter.

You don’t have to be conscious of doing it, but i’m sure most, if not all, authors reveal many things about themselves in their stories. And i think that’s beautiful. It’s what is so wonderful about writing. It’s why I do it. It’s why i love doing it.

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