Monday, December 3, 2012

A Writers' Children

I scold my characters. Sometimes they deserve it and other times I just need to have it out. The thing is, they don’t always listen to me.
I like to call my characters my children. They are never perfect, are always getting into some sort of trouble, desperately need me to help, and often make me cry. Yet somehow, I put up with them, even though they misbehave and rebel against the grain. (They cross the parameters I set up all the time. Naughty children!)
Still, I love them.

I get to name them. 
To teach them.
Develop their thoughts.
Give them an intellect.
Show them their passions.
Define them with quirks.
And every scrape they get into, I get to show them the way out.

The goal of a writer is to craft a spell – to draw our readers into a place that they won’t want to leave…or forget. And this is done by our characters.

So it is good to have a good grasp on who they are. It is important to know them, love them, and in some cases, be them. If we cannot write something so unquestionably genuine, the reader will be disconnected, withdrawn, and uninterested.
So I let my children run across the page, dancing with sunflowers, wind in their face, and streamers trailing behind. I allow them to bicker (as long as I win), fail, stand up, lose it, and pick themselves up again.
An imperfect person is a captivating person, because we want to know how they are going to change. My children are full of flaws.
But the best thing of all…
They are mine. 100%. And I get to call the shots, about everything they do (almost), and they love me too.

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  1. Well, that's good for you! My characters aren't always *mine* either. :( Every time someone dies I have family members saying, "No, cait. Go fix it, cait." ;)

    I LOVED this post. So good. And true. And it is so important to really KNOW your characters. Spot on.

  2. I have a love/hate relationship with my characters. :D I have a specific idea of how they should be and when the don't I do the whole, "YOU EVIL, EVIL, EVIL!!!!

  3. Very nice post! My characters are more like my friends who like to pick on me, then help me out last minute to show they still like me.