Alter Ego, etc.

dorian

When writing a personal account of the events in your life, you can either write from your own perspective or use a persona. If you use the same persona enough it will become your alter ego. However, developing an alter ego can be dangerous because eventually they become just as restrictive as actually being yourself.

Thankfully, you don’t need to have a distinct alter ego to write songs – you can mix all your character influences from a given time into an ad hoc persona to reflect your feelings.

It’s wonderful to use situations and details from your own life to make the stories seem more novel, but you don’t need to be the focus of all of your work – Honestly, you’re not that interesting.

If you’re new to multiple personae you can take a historically famous character, think Dorian Gray or Amory Blaine, (or conversely, an obscure, but interesting character,) and ask yourself; What would they do? How would they respond to this real life situation I’m experiencing? This creates a disconnect between the fiction and non-fiction aspects of the song and that ambiguity will give you a lot of play in how you can tell the story.

This narrative style lies somewhere between a memoir and a roman à clef (novel with a key). It allows you to capture emotions that you may be embarrassed about, but that felt genuine at the time. Even if it was wrong, it was still real and that’s much more important than being right.

If you write from this perspective it allows you to be more honest when reflecting on your past experiences. You can write candidly with no fear of your audiences’ reaction, because you’ll have the protection that fiction offers all artists.

 

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