Monday, February 23, 2015

Motivational Monday


I LIVE WITH THE PEOPLE I CREATE
AND IT HAS ALWAYS MADE MY ESSENTIAL
LONELINESS LESS KEEN.
(Carson McCullers)

I was in the middle of a conversation with someone when I started to say, "My friend, Harriet...." I caught myself in time. See, Harriet isn't "real" - she's the protagonist in my WiP. 

Now, obviously, if I was talking to another writer or to my husband or to another person I thought would "get it," no problem. But, in this instance, I was sort of embarrassed. 

At first. 

Because then I realized that if Harriet and the rest of my characters are so vital and complex and alive to me, then - hopefully! - they'll be that way for readers, too. 

Let's embrace our characters! That includes not only our protagonists, but also the cashier who's only in one scene, the lurking monster who has no place in an historical romance, and the old man with the metal detector, who has no name and who never finds anything, yet insists he's an important part of the story. And don't forget the antagonists. They need love, too.  

25 comments:

  1. I heard once that Charles Dickens used to walk down the street talking out loud to his characters! Yes, keeping them alive in life makes them much more alive on the page.

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    1. I never knew that about Charles Dickens. Love it! :)

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  2. Well, I certainly can't argue with this. I talk to my MC all the time. If they don't feel real to you, then they probably won't to the reader.

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    1. I talk TO "my people" all the time. It's the talking ABOUT them to others that gets a little tricky. :)

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  3. My characters are like my kiddos, I am very protective of them LOL.

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  4. It's a wonderful feeling when characters become so real to us.

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  5. I deeply mourn finishing a book because I know I'll never see all those interesting people again. Writing really is the best way to never feel lonely.

    And I love my antagonists. If anything, they tend to be more complex than my heroes/heroines.

    PS...Great description of the old man with the metal detector. Is he in one of your stories?

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    1. I absolutely agree re finishing a book and loving our complex antagonists.

      As for the old man? Hmm, you'll just have to wait and see.... :)

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  6. I talk to my characters, and talk about my characters to other people frequently. These people tend to be good friends and other used to me, so they just go with it by now. Nod and smile and keep the crazy woman calm.

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    1. "Keep the crazy woman calm" sounds like my husband's mantra. :)

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    2. That made me chuckle, although I totally get it. I've never said anything out loud like that before, but I've thought it. And besides, the other person will never know. :)

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  7. I have heard that a writer's characters often end up becoming like friends and family :)

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  8. Not only do they become like family, but I take it personally if someone with the same name as one of my characters disgraces the name. Imagine my sadness when the bully my son finally told me about shared a name with one of my protagonists. Sigh.

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  9. That's exactly what I thought when I read that you'd done that--"Wow, her character must feel really real for her to have made that mistake!" That's definitely a good sign.

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  10. When you spend that much time with a character, of course they begin to feel like real friends! I think that's why I'm always a little sad when I finish writing a novel because I know I won't be spending any more time with them (until I get to edits, that is, but then it becomes more of a love/hate relationship). :)

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    1. I'm with you on missing my characters and on the love/hate thing later on. :)

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