“I’m Not Em”
In this Wednesday edition and 9th episode of Djuna Shellam The Write OWL video series, “I’m Not Em,” I address the notion that my character Em Martín of The Em Suite might somehow be me. I understand, in some ways, why that assumption might be made. I’m not able to speak for other writers, but for myself, I can say that there is some truth running through all aspects of my characters and storylines, so that in a way, yes, Em is me. Except she’s not.
What I’ve always found odd is that people who have known me forever have leapt to the conclusion that Em is me and I am Em. I remind them, “I’m Not Em.” Some know me quite well, so it’s made me really ponder the possibility that I may have been writing Em as myself and not even know it. I know I’ve done the same thing with friends of mine who are writers, looking for the character who might be them. I think it’s human nature to want to find a connection with the writer and their characters. At least for some readers it is. However, after much pondering, which is something I do quite a lot, I’ve come to the conclusion that, while Em and I might have some internal similarities, and she might give voice to something in me from time to time, the fact is, she is a fictional character derived from various pieces of, yes, me, but other people I’ve known or even just met in my life.
I don’t know how other writers create characters, but for me the process is Shelley-esque, where my characters are drawn from pieces or composites of many other people—fictional or otherwise. I don’t want to imply I’ve created monsters, but that in order to create characters, a writer has to stitch them together with traits, characteristics, physical attributes, and so on that come from various sources. But the most important thing to take away from today’s blog is… “I’m Not Em.” Of course, in order to see why, you’ll just have to watch the video.
I hope you enjoy today’s episode. Please leave a comment, or better yet, subscribe to the Djuna Shellam YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on any new episodes.