…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…