Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

You are what you write…sort of.

In the earliest stages of my novel–when it was only a stream of ideas, my POV took hold. It wasn’t something I thought about at the time. But I think about it now and why it came so naturally. I wonder how much of me was my protagonist in the beginning. As the story moved and continued to unfold,  the characters became a far cry from where they started–who they were, when I started. The personas, voices, thoughts and feelings are distinctly their own now. They are no longer the people I began with and I love that.

I realize that there is a part of me in everything I write. A part of every author is weaved into their landscape, their characters, their stories. In some way, no matter how small, we are what we write. The choices we make, the angles we take, the voices we use–they are all part of who we are. Knowingly or not.

When we write, we create the world, the rules, the behavior and the actions. It is at our command. The possibilities are endless. The ability to change and evolve. The choice to stay the same. But I believe our characters at some point, take over. They have to. They lead us the rest of the way through the journey and to the end. And in that evolution, the real story comes out.

The best idea in the world rarely ends where a writer thinks it will without total manipulation of the characters. Unless we allow them to speak on their own, we can never know the true story. At some point we need to relinquish part of the control and allow ourselves to be led rather than to lead.

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4 responses

  1. Putting a little piece of ourselves into fiction is what makes it feel real. Every character I write is different, but each one of them has a quirk or a phrase that is all mine. The fun part is taking that little dose of truth and turning it into something unexpected. The characters and the story do ultimately take the lead, but I’m careful to make sure the nugget of truth that started the whole thing doesn’t get lost.

    My favorite writers are those who admit certain parts of their novel are derived from true events. Those who do this well make it impossible to figure out what is real and what is fiction. Those are the books I think about the most, because I’m always left wondering!

    May 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

    • I agree with you. One of the most rewarding parts of the writing process for me is when the characters voices become clear and distinct. At that point I know they are individual and can stand on their own. Thanks for commenting:)

      May 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm

  2. Lisa Kilian

    All of my characters have a bit of me and my friends in them. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be nearly as believable/ridiculous. 🙂

    May 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    • Truth be told, so do mine. And I love when they take off and evolve on their own. I like to be led by my characters after some ground work is laid. I’m one of those taboo Pantster writers (such a weird word). Alas, the reason for my constant annoyance some days and finding it hellish to finish:) Glad to see you in my neck of the woods, although you’ve got the gold standard on posts I believe:)

      May 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

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