Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Writing It Like It Is
I am now a long way from the time I started my autobiography. The first draft has been completed and there are a few things that I need to revise and polish. I am thinking about paying an editor who can go through my manuscripts, clean up the fuzzy edges and to make it less egocentric as autobiographers writing for the first time are wont to be. I would like to get away from the first person point of view but I guess this is what novice writers are damned to do in their early attempts.
It must have been the apprehension to offend other people that I tended to disguise the personalities and in most part not use names in my initial drafts. I asked a friend to go over it and asked him if it would make a difference if I put names in instead of just description of the characters. “Absolutely” he said. Names give life, a unique identity to the dramatis personae of your life story. In an autobiography characters have to come alive...be real.
Names helped me remember things more completely because in the course of the writing I do not lose track of the person’s humanness, I can also recall every nuance of his being as if he was present…in my face.
I knew that I had to get rid of the anxiety of offending people and be honest with the recounting of my experiences and to give an uncensored opinion of people and events. Honesty unshackles ones’ mind and allow for fluidity of thought and expression. Being guarded blocks out some of the creative opportunities for great prose.
I told myself that I am writing for myself and have no intention of having it on print. Besides I could always come up with a revised version should I decide on its publication? In the meantime, telling it like it is, is the dictum.