Infusing Your Life Into Your Writing

Hi everyone!

Those of you who have watched Star Trek The Next Generation (my favorite of them all :) ) will recognize this line of dialogue:

Picard – “I wish…I wish time would have allowed me to know you better.”

Samuel Clemens – “Well, you’ll just have to read my books. What I am is pretty much there.”

Image Source - startrek.com
Image Source – startrek.com

It’s a quote from a rather memorable two-part episode, “Time’s Arrow,” in which, among other events, Picard and his crew meet Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

This line immediately passed through my head yesterday when I was chatting with a fellow author.  We were discussing how it is surprising even to us, the writers of our stories, how much of our lives we infuse into our tales, into our characters.

While I believe this has always been true in my writing, I’m even more surprised at how much my own recent experiences and emotions have been infused into The Orc War Campaigns

In fact, in a way, the characters of TOWC have almost taken over the story.  Their inner struggles take center stage for several scenes, even while the war rages on around them.

Of all of the stories I have ever written, these have become the most character-driven stories ever.  And I’m specifically referring to the newest episodes I’ve written, not yet released on the website.  (They still require lots of editing before I’m ready to post them!)

As the climax of the entire series approaches (which will be in the 9th and final episode), the lives of the characters begins to unravel, as things grow ever more desperate for each of them.

Image Source - http://geistig.deviantart.com/
Image Source – http://geistig.deviantart.com/

Arkad begins to question his mission, his future, and most importantly for him, the future of his people.  He’ll be faced with questions of loyalty, courage, and truth.

Amaya’s inner turmoil begins to come to a head, as her anger and rage inside start to boil over into her life.  She must come to terms with her past, or everything she has fought and struggled for will fall.

For Zerek, one of his greatest dreams comes true, but in the process, the truth behind his budding relationship with Laira finally comes out.  A truth that will break his heart.

For Amaya and Zerek, the emotions I write for them have become highly driven by my own past encounters and experiences, even if I’ve not had their exact same experiences (seriously, I’ve never slain an orc or watched my entire family slaughtered in front of me, thank goodness :p )

And I have no doubt that when I go through their editing cycles, I’ll see it even more so in them.  Their stories are mine, blown up about a thousand times…and while I explore them in paper, I hope it makes for more engaging and heartfelt characters.

Those are the stories worth telling.  The ones about the characters who happen to be part of world-shattering events, rather than world-shattering events that characters happen to be part of.

What do you all think?  Are the larger events more important to focus on, or are the characters and their own struggles while they fight the larger battle more important?  What draws you most to stories?

Thanks for reading :)
-Jon Wasik

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