Today I’m participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We’re celebrating the release of Therese Walsh’s debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy, (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit The Muffin to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit Therese’s website to find out more about the author.
Anyone in the world is shaped by their family (or lack thereof). Seeing a person’s interactions with their family can give you get a glimpse into why they behave the way they do. The more people in the family, the more complex these relationships can be.
As a writer, it is almost impossible NOT to mine your insights, whether conscious or subconscious, when creating characters. Should you have the guts to look into your own, family relationships are fascinating. I like to think I’m most knowledgeable about my own family relationships because I’ve been in them all my life. Whether or not this is true, you can be sure that I draw on this knowledge when exploring relationships in the fiction I write. Let’s face it, writing cardboard characters is as unsatisfying as eating a rice cake.
Viewing family relationships from the outside can also be instructional. For me, it helps that my wife is a mental health professional. She is a wealth of knowledge on how relationships work that are useful in our real lives, as well as on paper. Her insights into the give and take of relationships, self awareness and growth go a long way to better understanding myself. I think that is key for understanding others and writing believable characters.