During my whole life, and more specifically during the last years since I have committed with my writing necessities. I have seen lots of quotes, images and statements about how horrible would be for anyone having a writer as an enemy. You can also read similar posts like this one over here and here.
Spanish version: Un escritor como enemigo: Cómo funciona realmente
These sentences can be true… Although it is not as you think it is.
So, what is a writer as an enemy?
Don’t get me wrong. Before starting writing my novel, I thought like you currently do about what being a writer is, and what power a writer is supposed to have. The power of writing horribly bad about anyone that he/she dislikes, or even killing a character that, obviously, has a deep resemblance with someone hated from the writer’s actual background. Like if you could be writing deaths of the people you hate just like this.
Well, you can. But if you want to have some depth within the meaning of your novel, you are going to avoid this situation at any cost. Or you really love soap opera and you can’t help yourself.
Writers don’t (usually) function with the idea of revenge or for blaming people for things that happen in their past, or even in their present. Writing is a necessity that comes from within the writer, a urge for putting words onto a paper, to tell stories about anything and everything. Of course, those stories are usually based on things that have happened to them, but there is not such direct reference from the writer towards a certain person through the creation and development (or “accidental” death) of the characters. In most of the cases, those scenarios, situations and characters are allegories, adaptations of the reality into fiction, and usually not what they seem to be. This has always happened and not only in Literature, but in any other art, such as painting, sculpturing, and whatever artistic and creative scenario you could think of.
How does a writer as an enemy really work?
People, in general, make a “fingerprint” on the mind, heart and soul of the writer. The better or even worse that person behaves with the writer, the most exposure he/she is going to get on the writer’s work. As you could think, the better the behavior, the better the reference and vice versa. Since I started writing my novel, I have found myself using this element when plotting and looking for new ideas for new (or even old) characters. However, I haven’t realized it after writing about them, like if it was some kind of unconscious move that my brain tricked me into.
For example, some of my main characters have lots to do with me, in terms of personality. I have used the white lily in a short story of mine, and later I understood I had used it because it is my favorite flower, and not only because of its meaning having a lot in common with the plot of the story itself.
If you need more “historical examples”, you can look at Ligeia, by Edgar Allan Poe, to know more about his relationship with his wife. Or how the House of Usher, from another Poe’s story, represents his own familiar and personal life. If you study Salvador Dali’s work, you can notice ants are a very recurrent element on his drawings. Then, you can learn that he had a very special relationship with this insect since it represents something very important for his childhood and, therefore, for his adulthood.
The real writer as an enemy
This, as you can see, is usually (or, at least, at the beginning) a pretty much unconscious predisposition of the mind towards the written word, to allow important elements for the person to flow into the creative current. However, the writer can learn how to portray those elements that are important, for worse or for better, into his/her written work, and in a very discreet, yet understandable, way. This is how you can analyze any kind of art under the method of Symbolism, in ways that not even the author knows what he/she talked about in his/her work. Or he/she knows about it, because it was totally premeditated.
DISCLAIMER: If you completely annoy a writer, until the point he/she hates you with all his/her heart, be sure you are going to be on his/her work, and probably you will die horrendously, with lots of pain, suffering and blood… Beware.
So don’t be a pain in the ass for a writer, don’t continuously ask to be on his/her titles. My advice is behave correctly, or very incorrectly, for the unconscious of the writer to notice you and make easier a way to show you in the process, maybe through a character, maybe through another kind of allegory. Make yourself count in the writer’s life and you will be, forever, portrayed on his/her work. And what is better than being written on a paper that will live forever? 🙂