On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Relatives and Writing

My mother reads my work.

Before I was published, my Mom never believed that I was seriously writing. She never said so, but I knew. I’d duck out of family events and say that I needed to write. Or that I couldn’t spend time with my nieces and nephew because I was writing. All that changed when I passed my first book contract around the table on her birthday.

Now she loves my work. I usually give it to her to read after the final edits, but before the book comes out. I’m not surprised that she loves my books because we are alike in a lot of ways and most particularly with regard to animals.

None of the mothers in my books have been modeled after my own. And in the books that I’ve published, I haven’t written anything “bad” about my family. When I wrote Sorceress of Faith, Mom wondered at first which brother I’d modeled Andrew after, then later figured (correctly) it wasn’t either of them.

But this morning I wanted to write a scene and I was torn (my Mom doesn’t read my love scenes ‘they’re all the same’). Circumstances in the scene echoed those in my home when I was growing up and how I felt. I’m pretty sure that if I laid it out on the page, my Mom would recognize it. So I self-censored. I didn’t like doing that, and I may go back and let the scene rip and NOT include it. Or I may go back and put it in.

My Mom wouldn’t want me to self-censor, but I’m not sure she’d care to see the past through my eyes. (Now that I mention this, I wonder if she’ll see my Dad in Calli’s Dad in Protector of the Flight – worse, but based on the man, of course she divorced him eventually).

So I have things to consider. And no, my Mom does not read my blog. Her computer is old and she’s just had eye surgery so this should be completely safe.

May you have no doubts about your writing today.


Anonymous a reader said...

If you are showing things from your point of view it is normally very safe. When families compare childhood events it always seems like they are talking about completelly different happenings. Censoring your writing risks losing its spontaneity.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

A very good point. I think I'm past that scene, but if the issue comes up again (and how can it not?), I'll probably put it in. Meanwhile, I've put my mentor in my books several times and she's never recognized herself...


9:08 PM  

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