My sister’s in town, and in my writing

My sister is here for a visit this weekend, which makes it a fun time to reflect on her influence in my writing.

I searched my blog posts to see what I had said about her before, and made the observation that I write about her a lot on the blog.

Her reply, in a teasing tone: “Well, I am the coolest.”

Really, though, my sister influences me in my writing.  Many of my characters have traits in common with her.  I love her feedback on my stories, and I know she’s already a fan.

There are even some sister relationships based loosely on ours in my writing.  (They do say to write what you know.)  The fun thing about writing is that you can take certain pieces of a person or a relationship from real life and change everything else.

The main character of Dragon has a perfectly put-together older sister who is a lawyer.  There are many things that are different, but she’s still partly based on Whitney.  The younger princess in Butterflies is silly, vain, and loves it when boys fight over her.  Again, not the same, but still partly based on Whitney.  The confident sister who adds a contrast to the shy Belinda in Bonded?  Whitney.  The wise and level-headed sister elf who really is a sister to everyone in Dragon? Whitney.  Liza’s little sister, who’s happy to be a little lady and behaves so differently than her tomboy big sister?  Whitney.  The sister in Burden who comes to court to be the confidant of the Queen?  Whitney.

Maybe it’s not the characters that are based on Whitney.  Rather, their relationships with their sisters are built based on my knowledge of what a sister is and does.  That knowledge comes from only two places: observations of others and what I know of my relationship with my own sister.

“Write what you know” doesn’t always have to mean plot and details.  It can mean people and relationships, too.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: A Sister Relationship « Butterflies and Dragons

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