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"I can't imagine any writer coming up with something that's pure character."

As I've mentioned many times, the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle is one of my favorite songwriters. To me, his songs are narratives that truly qualify as literature - it just happens to be literature in 3-minute segments that is set to music. (Of course, he's also a published author.) Here he talks to Willamette Week about creating characters in his songs.
Any character that you come up with is equal parts yourself or people you know, for the most part. Characters are in a large part yourself as you imagine yourself in lived situations. I can't imagine any writer coming up with something that's pure character. I think that's the most interesting thing about writers of science fiction. They're dreaming up people that are not human at all. But I think when you write, you end up talking about yourself and other people you know no matter how hard you try not to.
Though I shy away from fiction that is explicitly autobiographical, I also realize that most protagonists in fiction are based at least partly on the writer, and that only rarely is fiction purely fictional.

December 16, 2012 in Books, Music | Permalink