Know your characters

A novelist’s characters must be with him as he lies down to sleep,and as he wakes from his dreams.  He must learn to hate them and to love them.

Anthony Trollope

Well this sounds like fun at first, having a slumber party with your characters, until you realize you must hate them too.  But yes, know your characters, know how they live, what they do every day in life, what their backstory is.  I think I like that the best, because if you know them and they are real to you, there is no limit to their actions and your story will write itself, with the help of your outline and structuring to guide you.  When I wrote my first novel I felt like my characters came alive.  I had so much fun and it was so unexpected, too.  I know your characters are to be flawed, so as to relate to your readers, that is the easy part as it happens so naturally that no one, not one of us, is perfect.  Flaws are the easy part.  You can hate them for that, or for the rotten things they do to each other.  Either way you can.

I know it can be difficult to craft a character, but if you do your research, there are so many questionnaire lists to help you develop your characters that it can really get fun, and you can use one list for one character but another list might suit another character better.  I really enjoy developing my characters, you can put some fun twists into their background and never say what it is to the reader, but it’s part of him!  Or perhaps you can reveal this piece later in the series or toward the end of the work if you have resolved the piece of the character’s back ground.

Happy writing and it’s time for me to get back to my stories.

Why we Write

You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you’ve got something to say.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ve always liked F. Scott Fitzgerald.  His books were often so fun loving.  When I started to write my novel, which I have since rewritten into something else, I felt I needed to work out a story, and I wanted to share it with the world.  That is the best way I could put it, as I had a longing in me that certain things in my life had worked out differently and I wanted to make the life I had hoped for, happen.

Now I have moved on to a fantasy genre because I came down suddenly, with stage 1 breast cancer, and it changed everything.  I went through radiation treatment.   I wasn’t the same person anymore.  All of the sudden, that path my life had been taking had changed, and I wanted it to  be for the better.  I took my simple story (it seems simple now) and I wanted to make it magical, because that is how I felt about what had happened to me.  The kindnesses shown to me by people I didn’t know -a cop giving me a two day warning to get my car inspected, the bag of notebooks, a scarf, a filing folder, and other things that were donated by volunteers, and my workmates who never complained about filling in for my absence when I took off two, two week spans of time, one just to keep my sanity toward the end of the radiation therapy, which was a lot of driving to do after and overnight shift, and then home to bed, then to do it all over again.  My dear husband who bought me a dozen roses and my family, my cousins especially, who cheered my heart.  So many caring people, and it changed everything.

I was no longer jaded and cynical at times, and I had to admit I was grateful, even though seeing tons of medical professionals was not really my cup of tea or on my list of things to do.  Nonetheless, I got through it and after two years I am finally turning toward the future again. And what did I find? I found that I have lots of stories in me and have met some fabulous people that I never would have met.  And I have continued to read about story writing and hope to have several more books full of things to say. 😉