Writer’s honor

Pies & PrejudiceI’m read­ing Heather Vogel Fred­er­ick­’s newest book, Pies & Prej­u­dice (Simon & Schus­ter), the fourth book in the Moth­er-Daugh­ter Book Club series. The girls are four­teen in this book. Their book club is read­ing Jane Austen’s Pride & Prej­u­dice this year and a num­ber of excit­ing plot devel­op­ments make this a page-turner.

Near the end of the book, Emma, the girl who has aspi­ra­tions for becom­ing a writer, talks with her father, who has just had his first nov­el pub­lished. Emma has had her first short sto­ry pub­lished in a lit­er­ary mag­a­zine. Each of them have based char­ac­ters on peo­ple they know in real life, which caus­es a tem­pest. Pro­fess­ing igno­rance that “any resem­blance to actu­al events or locales or per­sons, liv­ing or dead, is entire­ly coin­ci­den­tal (from the copy­right page of this and every oth­er book in the known uni­verse),” the two, in a qui­et moment, con­fess to each oth­er that they had some­one dis­tinct in mind when they cre­at­ed their char­ac­ters. Father turns to daugh­ter and says, “This will just be our lit­tle secret, okay? Writer’s honor?”

Do you often won­der who in the writer’s life inspired a cer­tain char­ac­ter? Every writer I know usu­al­ly says, “I made up all of my char­ac­ters.” Um-hmmm. But that’s okay. I’m con­tent to leave it to “writer’s hon­or.” And still I won­der … how about you? Do you won­der about this, too?

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