Just for the record, this isn’t about anyone. This blog is not based on a true story. Any events resembling real life or real persons are purely coincidental. It’s especially not about you, Zooey Deschanel
Sometimes, I’m afraid that if someone reads my novel, they might see themselves in a character. Especially one who might happen to be a prostitute in said novel. But it’s not like we writers plan to base some characters on real people. It’s just that some people we know lend a lot of interesting idiosyncrasies that we can use in a character. Just because one character collects cat plates, that doesn’t mean I based her off my great aunt. Just because one character has a nylon fetish… well, you get the picture.
What’s really lame, though, is blogging derogatorily about people, because a blog is far more personal. For example, if your girlfriend breaks your heart, maybe it might annoy her if you post poems about your broken heart every day for the next six months. Or maybe go the Zuckerburg route and write an angry rant post about her while programming drunk. Blogging makes sure that those letters we never mean to send instead get posted to a public blog for everyone to see.
Blogs are supposed to be personal, though, but where does one cross the line of too-personal? Sometimes, something that might give readers a bit of insight into the blogger’s life, but sometimes readers lack the interest for full insight. Just because sometimes people like my poems, I don’t find it necessary to reveal any dark secrets. To catalog my spending habits. To post pictures of my pencil sharpener collection. (I do not have a pencil sharpener collection, because I can’t keep from losing just one sharpener.)
Novels and blogs work quite the same way. Friends of Hemingway feared being too interesting, because their exploits and secrets might end up under a pseudonym in his next story. Maybe ever writer sets off to write a memoir, but changes his or her mind halfway through. What would my parents think? My friends, whom I painted in such a horrible way? Well, I can just go right ahead and change the names, just call it fiction. No one will know.
Mind you, most writers do the opposite of what James Frey did. We do not fictionalize something and pretend it’s real. We hide very real bits of our lives in our writing.
So, I’m not saying that this blog is about anyone particular, whom I might know or not know. Especially not you.
Not you, Zooey. Actually, I hope you have a good life. And then go to Hell.