I have decided that my Camp NaNo novel is more than just Melody’s journey. It seems to me that it is also a representation of the journey I find myself on. Sure I know who I am, but yet… here I am after the loss of my wife trying to find the essence of who I was and who I became and who I want to be now.
I write in such a way as I see myself stepping back and the characters filling in and telling me the story. I am just the “tool” they use to share their journey. Might be a strange way of looking at it, but I have found that more often than not this is how some of my best writing comes into play.
“A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men.” ~Willy Wonka
It is sometimes rather funny to think of it as my characters knowing things I don’t, but that is how it works for me. Some people may decide what their character does for a living, but for me… they tell me. I may wish my characters name is something else, but what do you do when they are rather demanding and busy telling you they are so and so?
This is also how I come to learn of the journey or story I am telling. I know that really it boils down to my subconscious piecing together the tale I am working on, but sometimes… the glamor of letting ourselves believe our characters are “real” and magically sharing their tale with us, lets us look at things in a new light. After all, that is what writing is about, isn’t it? The magic of words. The magic of nothing becoming something. The magic of transporting ourselves to another place, another time, where things are maybe just a little bit different.
That is just a little glimpse of my journey in writing, what about you? How often do you find yourself relating to your main character? In personality or in the journey they are making? How often do you feel they are just an expression of you on the page?
5 thoughts on “Characters, Me and the Journey”
The first novel I ever started has very bossy characters. More than once they have stopped me in my plotting tracks and told me it wasn’t right. The story is taking a long time to come out, but I wouldn’t miss the journey for anything. 🙂 (Still flying by the seat of my pants on this one 😉 )
yeah, one of my current characters, who is actually a Black Jaguar, is rather… opinionated! And when I added in his point of view it expanded my whole story, along with pulling me along for a while ride! Love flying by the seat of my pants for these journeys!!!
It is a lot of fun having opinionated characters!
In my personal opinion, a writer who does not listen to his characters, or the promptings of his muse, is really missing out on a lot of the fun that can be found along the path of discovery. Writing is an adventure! It is to be experienced, not just done.
When I first started writing, a writing teacher gave us these sheets to fill out about our characters. What job they had, what house they lived in, who their best friend as a child was. All this background information he said we needed to know to be free to write about the character. It took a long time for me to understand that I can’t write like that. Part of the joy of writing was discovering my characters as I wrote. They always tell me who they are and what they should be doing.
I have these sheets I created myself that I do fill out, but, more often than not after I have already started writing, or planning the “world” they live in. Especially my main character, as that one I need to know a little better in order to write, but I do not choose these things for them! They always tell me.
I also like to at least have “names” before I start writing, as I have found out in this story, as I have gotten stuck a few times this camp nano because of them NOT sharing their names!!!! Drove me crazy *grins*, but, I usually have such an idea of the story before I start, that is how I learn that information. And that process is all so very abstract. Hmm, maybe I should think about and write about that.
Writing is such a fascinating process to me, how so many people can do it so very differently and yet arrive with the same thing, a finished story!