She’s a Character

And that’s why she acts the way she does. She is a separate entity from me, and sometimes she does things I would never do in a million years.

That is the dilemma that Morgan Ranes wrote about so eloquently on her blog: characters behaving independently of their authors, yet readers misconstruing their actions as something the author herself would do.

I seem to encounter this problem most often when someone I know in real life reads my writing. They seem to believe that all of my characters are, to some extent, me, and that I am my characters. But the reality of writing is that you breathe a little bit of life into a character, and she grows and does her own thing from there. Much of the time, the author has very little to do with it. We just plot out the story, give the characters some guidance, and step back and see how it all plays out.

In short: It’s a writer thing. You wouldn’t understand! 🙂

6 thoughts on “She’s a Character

  1. Did Shakespeare get asked these questions? I wonder. I have the idea that this way of looking at stories is a more recent development.

    It’s over 45 years now that I’ve been writing about a two women — an eccentric amateur detective and a mass murderer. I’ve still never murdered anybody, or solved a murder.

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    • Maybe in this era of social media, it’s just another way of trying to see what someone’s about or trying to envision what another’s life might look like… so we turn to a writer’s characters to try to piece together who they are.

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