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Basic Trope: A creator's work is directly informed by issues in their personal lives, usually of a painful, traumatic or unhappy nature.

  • Straight: In response to Bob's divorce, Bob writes a story in which Alice and Mike, his fictional couple, break up.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob has an argument with his wife, and in response writes a 1000 page epic in which Mike is tortured by Alice, a nagging shrew.
    • Bob literally breaks down from over-exertion from working on this book non-stop.
  • Justified: True Art Is Angsty and it's often helpful for creative artists to explore problems in their lives using fictional equivalents.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Following his divorce, Bob writes a novel in which Mike and Alice meet, fall in love, and have a happy ending.
    • Bob's output seriously slows because he is going through a physical breakdown that's making hard to write.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Following his divorce, Bob writes a novel in which Mike and Alice meet, fall in love, and have a happy ending... until Alice cheats on Mike and breaks his heart.
    • In an interview, Bob later acknowledges that he had Mike and Alice get together directly in response to how he wished his marriage had worked out.
  • Parodied: Bob has a tendency to write over-Wangsty diatribes about every incredibly minor problem that arises in his life, such as the time he spilt milk on his shirt.
  • Deconstructed: Bob, a usually accomplished author, is too distracted from his divorce from Alice to write a proper story. The work that he does churn out is underwhelming.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob's fight with Alice wasn't as serious as he made it out to be, but rather than try to work through their problems, he spends so much time writing about them that they go unresolved, leading to an avoidable divorce.
    • His experience with tragedy allows him to add a certain "authenticity" to the tragedies of his characters, which only serve to make his works that much more powerful. Even more powerful is if the characters learn to get past their tragedies, which may reflect how the author got past his.
  • Zig Zagged: At first Bob's stories are unaffected by his divorce. Then he gets in a car accident and his stories take a turn for the darker. Finally his son dies and his stories are unaffected after he returns from a hiatus.
  • Averted: Bob's stories are not drawn from his life and do not reflect his personal issues.
  • Enforced:
    • This trope is a reflection of a real-life writer's personal issues, and as such often results in other tropes being enforced.
    • In this specific example: Bob's creator is dealing with the aftermath of a painful divorce and has decided to cope with it by writing the story of Bob, a writer who copes with his painful divorce by writing the story of a couple who divorce.
  • Lampshaded: Bob breaks the Fourth Wall to comment on how his author's 'life must really be sucking right about now.'
  • Invoked:
    • Bob deliberately involves himself in bad relationships just destined to crash and burn in order to provide juicy material for his stories.
    • Alternativelty, the people around Bob constantly make his life miserable for the sake of his art.
  • Defied: Bob consciously makes an effort to keep his personal life at arms length when writing his stories.
  • Discussed: "Bob's writing again. Must have been dumped."
  • Conversed: "I can't help but wonder how much the writer's real-life divorce affected their writing process when creating this work."

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