Space, Time &...Crying?
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Originally Posted: November 17, 2017
I really get into my characters—at least the main characters. When I took my first acting class years ago, I was surprised to find that novel writing has a lot in common with acting. You have to get into your character’s backstory (history), figure out what makes them tick, what motivates them, what’s wounded them, and understand their dreams, etc. Once you’ve gotten inside your character’s head, heart and history, you can place them in any situation, and their responses often just come out naturally. If they don’t, it’s often because I haven’t fleshed out enough who the character is. Discovering their responses along the way is a super fun process in writing. I often don’t know exactly how a scene will go until I’m in the middle of writing it. I usually have a goal for the scene, but sometimes no idea how the character will get there until I put him or her in the scene and start writing. It’s a fun, and sometimes risky-feeling, process. It’s like getting to read my own novel (except I usually know the main turning points along the way, and the ultimate ending). But still, this adventurous process makes it more fun.
As I wrote some of the last few scenes of my latest novel the other day, I found tears running down my face, as Arona, the main character, cried. At first I felt embarrassed… the story’s not real! But then I realized it was real for my character, it was real for me, and that had been one of my goals all along. So then I just cried with Arona, or rather, I cried as Arona. I won’t tell you what kind of tears they were (sorrow, despair, joy, longing, or relief), you’ll have to read it yourself and experience it. But it was real!
Writing novels is an emotional and risky journey, but so worth the reward. I hope you’ll agree when you read about Arona’s spectacular journey in Space, Time & the Shopkeeper, coming out in 2023?! It’s in the editing process now!
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