Monday, March 16, 2009


How many of you are emotionally involved with your characters? My friend and I were talking the other day about my book. Specifically, I was telling her what was happening in a certain chapter. You would have thought that we were talking about family members or close friends, but we were discussing my characters as if they were real people. We were getting emotional about their misfortunes (mind you, I created their misfortunes). My characters are real to me; they are as alive as you and I are. I feel their pain, their happiness, their loss, their mistakes, etc. Some days I had to stop writing because I would find myself crying over something sad that had happened.

I read a blog post earlier by an editor that had some great insights into characterization. At the beginning there is an interview with Nathan Bransford, so read that first! :-D After you read the interview, scroll down and you will see the post entitled Falling in Love with your Characters. I don’t know about you guys, but I am! In love with my characters that is (in a platonic sort of way…eh um). Anyway, this blog has a ton of great information if you will. So, take a look.

Questions: Do you ever find that your characters are out of control? You think to yourself…I can’t believe ____ just did that… even though you just wrote it! Do you talk about your characters like they are real people? Do you believe that your close relationship to your characters carries through to your reader? I believe that if you are feeling the emotions, they will too!


beth said...

Hmmm...I don't really get too emotionally involved with my characters. Even though I'm writing in first person, I'm more of an observer, not a participant, in their events. I picture the scenes, etc., in my head and write what I visualize...but I rarely get emotionally attached. Although--if even *I* am on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next, or I'm thinking of the scene faster than my fingers can type it, then I know I'm in the zone!

Cindy said...

I read that same article you did about falling in love with your characters and I could totally relate. I consistently feel saddened when I end a book because I spend so much time with my characters and care about them so much I don't want to say goodbye. I like when I create antagonists that I really like to dislike, too. I wrote a book last year and let my husband read it. He finished with a segment on one of the characters that wasn't very likable. My husband said, "Man, that guy is such a jerk!" And I gave a huge smile and said, "I know!" I love it!

Leon Basin said...

You have an amazing blog. I really enjoy reading your writings. How are you doing?

Litgirl01 said...

Beth - the zone rocks! ;-)

Cindy - it really hit home for me too! We have a lot in common! I have a character who is SUCH a jerk...but so sexy! LOL

Leon - thank you so much! I'm flattered. I'm are you? :-)

Lady Glamis said...

Yep, you've just described how I feel about my characters, as well!

They are real to me. So real that my husband and I talk about them at the dinner table as if they're our children or something. It's very weird, but normal at the same time. I mention them casually in conversations with my friends and they know exactly what I'm talking about. They join right in and say, "No, Naomi wouldn't do that. That's not her AT ALL."

Yeah, scary when even my non-writer friends think of them as real people. Sometimes I think I go overboard, but in the end, it really pays off in the book.

And yes, my characters are so real that they make their own decisions all the time. Just like children. Urgh!

Charlie said...

I also read that post you referred to and it hit home. I thought I was the only!

Yes, I'm emotionally attached to my main character as well. I started out wanting to create the perfect person and quickly realized that she needed faults. Now she's even more real to me. I guess the girl that needs saving appeals to me!

There is one character I love that needed to die and it kills me every time I read it. :(

T. Anne said...

Oh dear, I am completely involved, they are very real to me. And often I am shocked by their behavior lol!

Litgirl01 said...

Lady G - I KNEW you would be right there with me! :-)

Charlie - awww!!! I can tell you have a big heart.

T.Anne - I knew you would be there too!

I remember almost running into work to tell my friend Allison that my mc had cheated on the only man that ever REALLY loved her. I couldn't believe she had done that (neither could Allison)! Even though I um...wrote it! LOL

lotusgirl said...

I do think of those characters as real sometimes and have to remind myself that they aren't. I think it's true that if they are alive for us they will be for others too.

Litgirl01 said...

Especially the shadowy ones. ;-)