Anne Lamott said something like if people didn’t want to end up being made into bad characters in her books, they should have behaved better. I always thought that was kind of funny, not that I’d ever use pen as sword.
But recently I was talking with a writer friend and realized I’d totally done it subconsciously. I’d killed off this person (and not in a very nice way, I might add) that had definitely annoyed me. I felt bad. What struck me most was that I totally missed it.
That’s just part of the fun of fiction, I guess. How often do you read a book and wonder if the author knows what she is revealing about herself by being quite possibly unaware of that. Writers are brave people that way. They know that they reveal their truest essence in ways they may not see, yet they do it anyway.
This is true even in non-fiction. I’m working on a couple non-fiction projects and am noticing that staying neutral is a challenge. I wouldn’t have thought that. Fact is fact. Yet, we all have a filter of some sort and even interpreting fact moves through it. Movie critics are probably the best example of this. Their reviews feel very much apart of their core personality to me.
There’s only one answer. Be nice to the writers.