Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Channeling your inner character
Some folks say our characters come from within us. That every person we write has at least a tiny part of us in them.
I’m not sure about that, but since it’s damn near impossible to pry open an author’s head and see exactly all of the thought processes, influences, memories that go into making a character—I’ll let that ride.
But now I’m facing the flip side of that. Using my own characters to help myself get through some rough spots.
Our house was recently robbed—again. This is twice in one year. Both times it was a quick hit, they grabbed small electronics and fled. Both times they took advantage of a small window of time where no one was home in the middle of the day.
This time they even walked out the front door.
I was freaked.
Ok, not as much as the first time (once the initial fear, panic, anger settled down), but still freaked. But the first time I had serious anxiety issues for a few months. As in “don’t wanna leave the house” issues.
The night after the break in, I had a long talk with myself. I realized I could let the bastard (s) who did this make my life even more miserable for a few months—or I could mentally fight back.
As I was thinking about this, I thought of my characters. I write space opera, steampunk, assorted fantasy types, even geek romance—but all of my heroines are tough. Not all the same, probably the most dangerous one I’ve created so far (unbeknown to her even) is very unassuming.
But they are all resilient.
They get screwed up…a lot. But they bounce back. They don’t let things stop them (ok, eventually in some cases ;)).
So, thinking of these figments of my imagination, I started making myself more resilient. I looked at what my options were to fix the problem (alarm and outside cameras) but also looked inside to move past it.
This just happened a few days ago, but I’m doing ok. I still want to bash the thieves heads in with a baseball bat (I do have some rather violent heroines) but I’m going to be ok. Living in fear is pointless.
My characters, which may or may not be made up of parts of who I am (or as I think, who I want to be ;)) helped me regain my sense of self.
What about you? Your characters ever reach out from beyond the page and help you?