Characters have a funny way of getting deep into your heart and setting up shop, it’s very much like when you meet new people and they become more than an acquaintance for you. They become friends and eventually you regard your friends as the family you’ve chosen.
You love your friends and if you have a healthy relationship with your friends, you’ll never fight, you’ll have arguments but they’ll ever tell you what is wrong with you in the heat of the moment and damage your relationship. They’ll raise you up and praise you and most importantly they’ll be there when you need them.
Characters from your writings are very much the same. They will always be there for you. They’re there when you don’t even notice them, watching and waiting. Maybe my brother was right when he said I was a bit schizophrenic, because my characters come out when I need them. All I have to do is sit down at my desk, open my laptop, put up a fresh page in Scrivener and go to town.
You can learn a lot about characters but the main thing is: don’t push them, even when you don’t like them.
They come to you as a fully form being and ready to have their world explored. It’s just like many things that get thrown at you in your life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the weather changing – that has honed itself through the seasons, it’s prepared you for what to come; it doesn’t even matter if it’s a situation, it’s thrown your way so that you can learn from mistakes, trials and tribulations, it’s ready for you to dissect and learn from.
How we react to things and the characters in our lives say a lot about who we are as people. I find that the older I get the more I don’t want to have characters in my lives who are negative and make me feel insignificant. I want characters who raise me up and lift me higher than the clouds, but it makes it hard when I have characters, whom I have written about, that I strongly dislike.
Does that make them an unlikeable narrator? Would that turn a reader off from picking up their book?
It probably would, but the challenge a writer faces is one where they have to make a character, that they don’t like, likeable to those reading them. This is a challenge I have to face with my werewolf’s book. It’s got some rewriting to do (and me re-reading it has brought this issue smack bang in my face), but that’s not for some time, so I can let that percolate until I’m ready to touch it (and there are two books to finish completely before I get there.)
How do you attract the characters in your lives? And how to do you deal with the negative ones? Let me know in the comments below.