I’m a twin. I am not just a twin, and not just an identical twin I’m a mirror twin, hence the name of this blog. I’m also a writer. As a writer, I’m supposed to write what I know.
And it’s not as if I don’t write about twins. I have twins in fifteen of my stories (technically sixteen, but they’re less predominant in book 2 of that series, and yes, it’s the same twins, more than one set even.) Fifteen, or sixteen, out of fifty, and in only one of them is the main character a twin. And in all of them, the sets of twins present in the story are younger siblings, and or nieces (excluding that second book where they are the older cousins of the heroine).
I know twins. I know what it’s like to be a twin. I don’t know what’s it’s like to be a singleton because I am a twin. That’s just part of who I am. Yet as often as I write heroines who look like me, I’ve only written one who is a twin, and that was a fraternal twin, and said twin is dead.
I’ve written, well as I said, sixteen stories with twins in them, but I don’t have their POV’s in the stories (excluding the one story). I don’t have scenes where someone mistakes them for their twin.
Okay, maybe I don’t have that, because I consider this a bit cliché. Not that I’ve actually read them, I generally don’t read beyond the blurb when I realize it’s another switched places or got-mistaken-for-the-other type of story. It’s more than a little overdone.
But how to do you write stories about twins without mixing up or switching them?
In ways it makes since writer’s who have twins in their stories follow that line, but I’m getting the feeling that’s the only thing authors think of when they write about twins.
Off the top of my head, I can think of four published books with main characters who are a twin, which doesn’t do this. In two of the ones I can think of the main character is Kit Fielding, i.e. one of Dick Francis’ characters, and Kit is a fraternal twin, so mixing up and switching places is out of the question. One is a romance where the hero’s identical twin brother is brain damaged. No way to get them mixed up, despite how much they look alike. And the fourth is “And Jacob Have I loved.” Again, not about twins switching and getting mixed up.
In other words, I feel the getting-twins-mixed-up or the twins-switching-places stories are overused, overdone, and need to be scrapped.
And that explains why I’ve never had an identical twin as a main character.
Glad I finally figured it out.
Happy writing everyone! J