Would it surprise you to read I have never listened to a Beyoncé song? I mean, on purpose. Her music is played here and there and everywhere, so she’s kind of hard to miss. 😉
Typically I’m a classic rock kinda gal, with some 80s and 90s soft rock or even a bit of pop thrown in.
I mention Beyoncé because a friend of mine brought her up the other day. Actually, she referred to her as Sasha Fierce. I had to google this name. I didn’t know what she was talking about.
Sasha Fierce is Beyoncé’s alter ego. (It is also the name of her third solo album, titled I Am…Sasha Fierce, released in 2008.) Which leads me down a whole new rabbit hole… 🐰
Let’s talk about alter egos.
First, a definition, and expansion on the above tidbit:
An alter ego is a person’s secondary or alternative personality. It can also be defined as another version of oneself.
Beyoncé said in an interview that Sasha Fierce owns her when she is on stage and that Beyoncé is dead.
I find this interesting.
What I find even more interesting is how an alter ego might be applied to writers.
Think about it: when you write fiction, you create characters. These characters may, in some cases, become highly developed and you end up cultivating strong feelings for them.
Some people may do this under their own, real name, but others may want to conceal behind a pseudonym. A nom de plume.
There are many reasons why people write under a different name than their own. We can debate this another time. My interest here is the alter ego, specifically, my alter ego.
Do I have a hidden alter ego?
I ponder these things with more questions. 😀
- Is my female protagonist in a steamy love story I created last year my alter ego?
- As she travels through her romance with her new man, do her actions and emotions reflect mine? 😳
It’s an interesting theory, but far from simple.
As I read Stephen King’s On Writing, he mentioned on more than one occasion that some of his most famous characters were created while he was consuming alcohol excessively. He struggled with a deep addiction but did much of his most celebrated writing while drunk or hungover.
Makes me wonder…was the effect of alcoholism responsible for creating what may appear to some as his alter ego(s) via his characters?
(Annie Wilkes comes to mind, played famously by Kathy Bates in the film/book title Misery. I have not read the book but everyone has seen at least part of Kathy Bates’ exemplary theatrics in that film…)
A couple of years ago I created a pseudonym for myself. Very few people know about it. I trust those few with my whole being – they will not betray my trust. They understand that I feel much freer to write under this unknown pseudonym than I do under my own name. (Yes I understand about accidental discovery. I’m asking for your discretion should that happen. Thank you.)
I wrote things; I published some, sometimes I delete them. Mostly I just write and store without worry that it’s too out there, or weird, or inappropriate, or crazy. I just go with it.
The more I do that, the more comfortable I get with my writing style(s).
As I type and think up more stories, I notice certain repetitive similarities emerge in my characters. Certain behaviours, thoughts, actions that I seem to have explored before appear on my screen. I welcome them; they feel familiar, like an old friend.
Feels like my alter ego talking…(either that or I have a multiple personality disorder of some sort.) 🙂
One day I may release or publish some of this stuff, but that day is not here yet. (Or is it?)
But back to the alter ego.
Are the characters we fiction writers conceive under our pseudonyms our alter egos?
Someone, my Muse, mentioned this possibility to me a while back. It stuck with me over time, but it wasn’t until my other friend mentioned Sasha Fierce that I started to dig a little deeper. (And hurl all these words into the social internet, once again…😀)
Sorry not sorry. 😛
Anyway, I will leave you with a couple more questions to ponder yourself (because I’m currently on a questions kick):
a) If you write under a pseudonym, do you consider that your alter ego?
b) Could you call your protagonist and/or characters your alter ego(s)?
If you’ve dabbled in fiction writing, I’d be interested in your comment.
If you have, or are contemplating a pseudonym, and have thoughts about alter egos, please share them. If you prefer to bypass the comments below, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your privacy is assured; I won’t share what you share with me.