I'd be lying if I said my fictional characters weren't inspired by real people. The key is inspired--I'll hear a funny phrase (wif Ruf) or see someone striking (a slender blue-eyed boy in pink sneaks) and my imagination ignites--a scene, a fragment, a creative spark that excites and motivates me.
Recently I immortalized a real person in a quasi-fictional piece. It was self-serving, I get that. I was exploring my own curiosity at the expense of a rather bewildered friend. I'm not a fictional character, he said gently, when I demanded why he hadn't read the whole piece. I'd imposed my analytical ego on him, I realized, turned the coolest of provocateurs into the object of mundane inspection, as though his looks and words and beats--as though he himself--were mine to examine and manipulate. How did I trespass so blithely? I guess because when I'm writing, I'm god, and everything is material for a new world.
So, I apologized and made him tear it up, but I'm worried: is this is an unforgivable infringement, or the kind of thing that can weather a friendship in a good way, like a broken-in leather jacket or retro Puma kicks?
As a side note my weekly story submissions roll on. The rejection I got yesterday noted Your story made it past the first reader, try us again. A no, but minus the slap. I'll take it.
I've been reading quite a few memoirs, courtesy of the Seattle Public Library. I want to write one, as you know, so I've been absolu...
A couple of weeks ago I collaborated with the indubitable thad wenatchee and others to write a radio play. See more on how it went:
Ever wondered what it takes to get a piece of fiction published? I'm not talking New Yorker type of prose. That's a rarefied world ...
Check out my new video, a brief reading from a story published this past spring in Opossum.