Sodaro's Stories

June 1, 2015

Writing about other people (30 days of Blogging, 2015)

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 5:40 pm
Tags: , , ,

(So for this year’s 30 days of blogging, I will be responding to a quote every day…mostly ones about writing…since that is what I find myself talking about and thinking about more than anything these days).

“Unless something has gone disastrously wrong, other people aren’t that interesting to write about.” Margaret Atwood

If I had a nickel for every person who, upon learning I’m an author, tells me “you should write MY life story…talk about INSTANT bestseller,” I would have a sock full of nickels. I smile and tell them if they should write their story as I am sure I could not do it justice. Cut out the middle man, you know? And while I am not sure what I would do with that sock full of nickels, but some of my less than honorable characters have some ideas.

I have also had people tell me I should put them in a book and I do think about it for a minute…I do try to see where they would fit…I have a couple of serial killer novels that I have started and I wonder how they would feel about being an extra snack for my sociopaths.

For me, and for other writers it may be different, but for me, the characters appear in my mind when I sit down to write. They may be bits and pieces of different people I know or have met, but I can’t take a person as they exist in my reality and just plop them into my novel. It doesn’t work like that for me.

The characters I write about, are 100% fictional and if you see yourself in one of my characters, that is…well, that’s awesome (hopefully it is not one of the aforementioned sociopaths that you see yourself in…and if you do, then may I say that knife really brings out the color in your eyes and you look lovely…)

As fascinating as you are, and your life has been, I am not a biographer. Write your story. Claim it…I will completely support your efforts to create your own life on the page. I will help you in the process…I like to help with the process, but if I wrote your story…it wouldn’t be yours, now would it…


  1. I have begun writing stories and plopped people as I knew them into the plots; sometimes what I was writing about was even a true story, which is how they got there in the first place. But it wasn’t long before their characters began to morph into something much more distinct, and well before the final draft was printed, there were more differences between them than similarities. That didn’t stop them from becoming incensed that I had “written about them,” though, which is weird, because in some cases, their characters were pretty sympathetic. I guess that proves once and for all that people don’t really read.

    Comment by KC Carr — June 2, 2015 @ 1:30 am | Reply

    • People have said they KNEW they were this character or that character in one of my novels. I just look at them sideways…um really???that is how you think I see you??? Interesting.

      Comment by michelle sodaro — June 2, 2015 @ 1:38 am | Reply

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