Characters are a bit like the writer’s pox. Instead of itchy red dots all over our skin, we have itchy personalities peppering our minds. Some are louder than others and we end up scratching those first because no matter how many times we’re told we shouldn’t scratch, the itch cannot be ignored.
As we scratch, fleshing that character out on the page, their voice becomes clearer and their story apparent. Often the process draws blood, a mix of fiction and fact that bleeds onto the page until it is difficult to distinguish between character and author. Neither would exist without the other, after all.
In my novel Deviation I have two women abducted through space and time, one a writer and one a mother. The writer finds herself being hailed as a prophet for things she wrote in her fiction, which was a horrifying thought for both the character and me, the author.
If you’ve read any of my work, you’ve seen the horrible things I put my characters through. I’m pretty sure most would want to kill me if they were real and standing in my apartment.
The other character, the mother, is desperate to get home to her family. She has a young son who needs her and she has to get back.
Midway through my revision of the novel I realized I had written my real life struggle into the plot. You see, at the time I was a new mother. My son was only months old and I felt like I was two people – a devoted mother who wanted nothing more than to see to the needs of my son, and an author who needed to carve out time to write.
As I completed my revision of the novel, I came to an understanding that has carried me through the last ten years of my son’s life; both the writer and the mother are essential parts of who I am as a person.
While the novel never addresses this personal journey, the ending still reminds me of the lesson Reesa and Kate taught me. I will always find a way to write, and I will always be a mother.
See what lessons my fellow authors have discovered through their characters in this month’s round robin…
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Marie Laval http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1c1
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/