Wednesday, May 19

I'm in LOVE...

…with the characters! My favorite reads (and movies and TV shows, for that matter) all have that one big thing in common: remarkable characters. If I develop feelings for your characters, whether it’s love, sympathy, admiration, fear, hate, whatev, I’ll probably have a great time reading your story.

The Let’s Talk Blogfest yesterday got me thinking about the peeps in my novel, about where I found them and where their voices come from. Most of my characters were born from a single trait of the people around me that I work with every day. (They’re some silly characters themselves. Someday I’ll write about them as they are, but for now I borrow tidbits.) But beyond that, the characters take on a life of their own. They speak to me and through my fingertips.

I often talk about them as if they’re living, breathing people. I care about them. I can describe what they’re like as if I’d known them in person. I know their fears and hopes. I sometimes know them better than I know me. Creepy thought, hm? Anyway, when I write, their words pour out from some place I can’t quite identify. Maybe that’s why they don’t really sound like me. Sometimes I’m completely surprised by what they say or do, as if their actions didn’t come from me. Yes, logically I know I wrote all of it, but it often doesn’t feel that way to me.

So am I just nuts (I can live with that, I suppose)? Or is this a writerly thing? Do your characters’ voices take over when you write them? Where do you get your characters from and how well do you know them?

Oh, PS—I must share this news!!! I bit the bullet this morning. Bit it hard. I registered for NaNoWriMo. Yep, my cherry will be gone at the end of November. Who else is brave enough to take on the challenge? Have you done this before? If so, how do you prepare before the big DAY ONE???

Yeah, I know. So many questions today…


  1. Congrats! That's a great step and I completely understand where you're coming through with your characters.

  2. Thank you. It's good to know I'm not just loony! Anyway, I thought about enlisting my 13yo daughter to do the NaNoWriMo with me through the Young Writer's Program. I bet she could kick my butt on the word count!

  3. Whoo hoo! Congrats on signing up for NaNo!

    And yes, we're all crazy. Comes with the territory.

  4. I've never done NaNoWriMo bc the timing was never right. But if it was, I'd do it.
    My characters have been known to talk to me. All the time. It's unnerving yet a sign that I'm deep into my writing!

  5. Hi Angela! Thanks for following my blog -- I look forward to reading more from you too!

    I did NaNoWriMo last November. It was the most exciting and interesting experience and I learned so much from it (mainly, how to write while ignoring my inner editor, who's a real loud-mouth!). My current WiP is the novel of which I wrote 51,000 words, or nineteen chapters, during NaNo. Unfortunately, in January I'd run into so many plot road blocks that I had to go back and outline the story...which put be back to square one. Now, I'm on chapter nine of the "second first draft," and things are going smoother now!

  6. @Lydia: Yay! Another "not crazy" vote.

    @Nicole: I also tend to edit as I go which slows me down a bit. Hehe, "second first draft." I like that. I'd like to use that, if you don't mind :) So I'll actually be on "first draft #22" with maybe a revision or two planned...

  7. Nope, not crazy. Just a writer ;)

    I know my characters - like you said - better than myself most of the time. Often, I'll sit and write, then read back over the scene and think: Whoa. I had no idea that was going to happen.

    I get most of my ideas/characters from dreams and songs. With almost every song I listen to, I see a little movie in my head (hmm, maybe I should have been a video director, lol). After I start writing I can see some similarities with people I know/have known, but it's never intentional.

    Thanks for following me - I thought I followed you when I visited, but I guess not. Am now :)

  8. I love the way my characters come alive and do all sorts of unexpected things. It's my favorite part of writing. I was always into the idea of magic/other realms as a kid, and writing is about the closest thing to magic I've ever found--it's why I write! It's so cool how something can come out of my own head that I had NO idea was in there!

    Congrats on NaNo. The last thing I need is a higher word count, so I know nothing about Nano. I have a son that is writing a book too though. What's this about the young writers Nano thing?

    Oh, btw, thanks for the name suggestions on our blog! The chimera is ever so appreciative! :)

  9. You are a writer and therefore it is totally normal to think and hear your characters all the time! I think it is actually a good thing for a writer to do this! Means your characters are not just shadows on paper but fully fledged people! And congrats on Nano! I'm too scared to sign up for that one....I would just be tapping out crap on my keyboard to increase my word count...

  10. My characters totally say whatever they want sometimes. It really breathes life into the stiry when the characters are allowed to be real and genuine and not always amnipulated into situations. Some of my best scenes are when the characters act out. (=
    Congrats on NaNo--do it!

  11. @Callie- This awesome website is for authors 13 and up: The NaNoWriMo actually raises money to support the young writer's program. I think it's pretty darn awesome! Check it out. The site looks fun.

    @Slushpile Slut- Yep, I suppose this why the term "NaNovomit" was invented. I've got a general plot hammered out already, but it'll be rough anyway (and hopefully fun).

    Thank you, everyone, for reminding me I'm not some lone wacko. I mean, it's not like I talk to myself or anything like that, although sometimes I do that, too...


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