CHARACTERS ARE US

Lately, I’ve read a lot of comments from fellow travelers on the novel revision trail.

It sure is a rough way to go and a long row to hoe.

But, in spite of the difficult the grind through chapters, there is an undercurrent of joy. Authors just love their characters.

Our characters are like our children. That’s been said to death, of course, but it is true. What is in you comes out in them. Sometimes that fact is alarming, and sometimes it is charming.

One of my favorite scenes in Spear into Darkness includes a magnificent warlord. He has all the attributes of true wickedness – he is devious and brilliant, cruel and bold, big and bad. And, yet, as with many evil people, there was something seductive about the freedom and power he enjoys. It is amazing how appealing he is – in a wonderfully creepy way.

On the other hand, a few scenes later, a teen-aged mercenary rescues the main character. This child soldier, in spite of his own wounds and a difficult language barrier, drags her from a devastated urban battleground and offers her a home among his people . He is so sweet and strong I wouldn’t mind having him as my own kid.

They are both the children of my imagination.

Our challenge as writers is making readers wish our characters were real or be damned glad they aren’t!

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One thought on “CHARACTERS ARE US

  1. “…there is an undercurrent of joy. Authors just love their characters.”

    You are so right! I find it awe-inspiring just how much I do love my characters, even those who are bad! And there is a joy in that love of something we have created all by ourselves.

    “Our challenge as writers is making readers wish our characters were real or be damned glad they aren’t!”

    Yes! Most definitely. I think if we can do that, we’ve hit the jackpot 🙂
    As a reader, I can think of nothing better when finishing a book than to feel as if I am leaving ‘friends’ who I was with for a while. And having a character who is despicable and everyone hates is not without its own peculiar charm.

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