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Fiction is fiction

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
1 min read

Some good advice in this list (you don’t have to be Egyptian). My favourite ‘rule’ comes from the Orange prize longlisted, Leila Aboulela:

Never worry that readers will think that your characters are you. Once you start to care, you are self-censoring.

That’s an interesting way of looking at it. I’ve had plenty of people read my novel and raise their eyebrows at some of the content (don’t panic, it’s not that bad). But honestly, it’s nothing to do with the real me.

I’ve always found it strange how readers often assume that your characters are must be at least in some part informed by your own personality. It’s surely hardly ever the case.

As Aboulela says, you really shouldn’t let what readers may or may not think have any impact on what you write. Fiction is fiction. Invent away.

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I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.