Writing Can Be Murder

June 30, 2008

Perception of self

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 4:53 pm

One of the things I love about reading a novel is that you often get more than one view of a character. There’s the view provided by the character herself, and there’s the way another character or characters view her. Usually these views don’t match up, which would come across as a cliche, except that in real life, this happens all the time.

I was thinking about this after discussing three separate real life people this week.

The first appears to have no self-awareness. She takes no pride in her appearance. Her hair is a disaster, her clothing unflattering and she wears no make-up — which is a bit odd in and of itself, but seems very strange considering she’s an attorney. I often wonder what (if she’s even got one) her perception of herself is.

In a freaky coincidence, I described what I think the perpetual emotional state of a dear friend is, and she, almost verbatim, voiced the same description of herself later that day. Now, I personally think her vision of herself might be harsher than my vision of her, but they’re certainly in-line.  I think this friend is in touch with her feelings and the world around her and is magically self-aware.

Another friend made an observation about me this past week. She said that while she can always count on me to come through in a difficult situation, I often turn down invitations to her parties. This got me thinking that she thinks I’m a party-poooper (which I admit I can be). This had never occurred to me before, so I had to adjust my perception of myself. You KNOW I’ll be using that for a character soon…


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