Saturday, 8 February 2014
Is she taking over?
I found myself the other day considering a situation at work and asking myself what Clara would do – and then decided to take that very same action.
Does this mean Clara and I are alike?
Or am I doing as all good writers advise and writing what I know?
She is very likeable.
· She has a great sense of humour.
· She is slightly agnostic but thinks there must be something there that we can’t understand.
· She has a lot of faith in human beings and only tends to see the good in them.
· She is always optimistic – definitely a glass half-full person.
· She is hard-working and practical.
· She has expensive taste but is not greedy.
· She’s a little stubborn.
· She’s a bit naïve.
· She loves life.
· She is physically very strong.
We only know a very little about her. We are told something about her personality in her son, Ernst Lehrs’ autobiography and from the description from the Stolperstein organisation. That helps me to work out what she would do in certain circumstances.
We also know about a few things that she did: building the house on Schellberg Street, opening her house to the Hilfsklasse and choosing to live in Rexingen after she had to leave Stuttgart. These facts help us in turn to find out more about her personality.
I’m spending a lot of time with her at the moment. I’m on my third edit of Clara’s Story. I have also been working on edits of The House onSchellberg Street with my publisher. She’s in that a lot too.
I guess I must be basing some of her reactions to situations on my own, so that is a way of writing what I know. However, we are all influenced by what we read. Of course, I’m reading her story as well as writing it.
Is it possible that what we write influences us as much as what we read? Is it the subconscious perhaps coming into the conscious here? That writing is an act of uncovering?
It’s certainly something to think about.
In the meantime, I’m satisfied that Clara is becoming so well-rounded. I’ll be very interested to find out what my eventual beta-readers make of her.