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  • Pearl Lorentzen

Outside Influences/Internal Drive

Various tropes infuse writing. A common one is a protagonist who is or wants to be a writer. From Anne of Green Gables to Possession by A. S. Byatt, many authors have created engaging stories about writers. Unfortunately, the number of cliche versions outweigh these successes.


While engaged in the act of writing, it is easy to connect with characters who want to write. All writers have an internal drive urging them to write. Writing is not simple or natural. It takes work and commitment. This drive is integral to a healthy writing practice. To write, one must write.

Writing is a solitary discipline, but writers should also engage with the real world. By drawing on a variety of experiences with other people, writers create complex and realistic characters. Outside interests and hobbies are just as important. These grow the writer's imagination which allows the writer to reframe the story.


Anne Shirley is an interesting character because she is impish, kind, chatty, imaginative, writes, teaches, wants a bosom friend, has a sharp temper, and changes as the story progresses. L. M. Montgomery might have drawn on her own character, her students, or her imagination.


As writers, engaging with other people and a range of experiences makes us more well rounded human beings and should make us better writers.

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