Self-Implication in Writing

What is it?

Self-implication is the act of putting parts of, or the whole of you into your literary work. This can be done by either making a character you, or by spreading a lot of who you are into many characters. The latter is the more common way of doing it.

How important is it?

While it certainly isn’t important, it definitely can help you as an author, because it allows you to put more raw emotion into a certain scene or throughout the entirety of your work. It also happens to be a lot easier to write about emotions that you understand and connect with. Something that you as a person have faced in your life.

Poor Self-Implication – The Messenger by Markus Zusak (Spoiler Warning)

The Messenger Au Cover.jpg

Markus’s novel “The Messenger” is a YA novel about a young taxi driver who ends up putting himself into a bad situation when he stops a bank robbery. Now while I personally didn’t like the book, tons of other people certainly did, but I have my reason.

Now at the end of the book it’s revealed that Markus is in fact “The Messenger” supposedly. If his intention was that it was meant to be him, then he made it seem as if he was praising himself. Plus it kind of comes off as if he’s telling who what to think.

The way it was done, made it seem like the author himself was telling you to think about the themes of the book, rather than letting the reader decide whether they wish to think about the themes themselves. It came off as: “You got think about these themes. I made a story with good positive themes about humanity, and you’ve got to notice this.” It’s as if he thinks that the audience is stupid.

Now based off of this little section I wrote, you probably think that I hate the guy. I do not. The guy made a great speech about writing, and he has the balls to get into the nitty gritty while still catering to a younger demographic. I just personally don’t like his work.

Markus’s Speech:

My Experience with Self-Implication

This has been something that I’ve done since I started. Whenever I write I always put a bit of myself into my stories, and it’s been nothing but rewarding. However whenever I put a bit of myself into my work, it’s always the worst side of me. The things I hate about myself. The things I’m afraid of. The violent thoughts I have. But if there’s one thing I add into the majority of my work it’s…

The Feeling of Regret.

If there’s one thing I know all too well about it’s regret, and there’s only one story that I wrote that perfectly shows my view on regret, myself and the world that lives inside my head. It’s called EVICTED, and it’s the only story that I’ve published, and it’s also one of the shortest I’ve ever done. In it I made a hyperbolic version of me and how the feeling of regret affected me. After finishing it, I was the happiest I’ve ever been. Happier than when I finished my novel. (Which I haven’t edited yet.)

But I look back at the experience I had while writing it, and while it was hard… I don’t regret it. I was able to just show me in a way that no one has ever seen, and it was greatly therapeutic. I wasn’t afraid to show the deeper and darker side to me, and it made me accept and understand myself on a whole new level.

It’s something that I believe authors should do. Just show yourself for who you really are through your work.



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