My writer’s group met last night. After a couple hours of intense conversation on all of our projects, my friend T. sat back and laughed, “Isn’t it funny how we talk about all these people [i.e. our characters] like they’re real?” I said, “T., they ARE real!” (Aren’t they???)

Case in point: T. also told us that about how two days after we met last time, her neighbor called her up to tell her about a problem her daughter was having at school. T. said to us, “I thought, ‘I know somebody else that happened to! Lilly somebody….and then I realized, oh, wait! That was Dori’s story!'” She was talking about my Truth About Truman. I, of course, wanted to hear all about the neighbor’s daughter’s story. Specifically, I wanted to hear how that story ENDED because the ending of Truth About Truman still isn’t quite right. (And that’s not just me being a perfectionist…two editors at Albert Whitman say the same thing. Heck, even my 12-year-old says that!) Unfortunately, the neighbor’s daughter’s story hasn’t been resolved yet. So she wasn’t any help to Zebby, Amr, Lilly, Hayley, Brianna and Trevor.

But when you live with all these voices in your head, it’s hard to imagine they’re NOT real. Especially when they’re just as loud as (if not louder than) your own voice.

They’re real!

3 thoughts on “They’re real!

  • February 22, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Real Characters

    For years, as I wrote, I never felt like my characters were real–I thought they were realistic, pretty well-formed, true to their personalities. I didn’t quite get what people meant when they talked about their characters being real–I just knew I was missing something.

    On the book I’m writing now, it’s all changed. First of all, I love both my protagonists–I have actual emotional feelings about them, which is just so great. Then, second, I just know who they are. I was talking to my son about ideas for the next book in the series, which will involve some hiking in the local mountains. And I said to my son, hey, who’s going to get the poison oak REALLY BAD–Joel or Victoria? Without a second thought, he said, oh, yeah…Victoria! Cause its just so her!

    • February 23, 2007 at 7:59 pm

      Re: Real Characters

      I never used to get it, either. Especially when other writers would talk about their characters talking to them. (My characters don’t talk TO me. It’s more like they’re inside my head and I’m inside their heads. We sort of “fuse together,” so we can’t have a conversation.) Or when other writers talk about their characters taking over their story and sending it in new directions. (My characters don’t do that, either.)

      But when I sit around with my writer friends and talk about our projects, ALL of our characters seem real to me. It’s like we’re a bunch of middle-aged women sitting around GOSSIPING!

  • September 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I read the book about y’all and they was saying that how they didnt want people to know who made the website and I now did


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