Tag: characters

Can You Relate?

–Author Unknown

This seems like it could be a quote about one’s favourite characters and books, but as a writer I think it applies wholeheartedly to the people I create and channel onto the page. I think it’s the mark of a writer that you start to care about your creations, not just as things you’ve made in order to further a storyline, but as real people. When they hurt, you hurt. When they love, you love. You start seeing things through their eyes, feeling things the way they might, even if that perspective is vastly different from your own.

They may not be real in the sense that I could meet them on the street one day (although in my more fanciful moments I like to think about alternate universes that come into existence through a writer’s pen where Callie, Dane et al. may at this moment be trying to save the world) but I love them nonetheless, and so I love myself as well, because they were born of me.

Character Studies

These have been on my list of things to do for awhile, like ever since I started thinking about writing. Funny that I’m only getting around to it now, after I’ve done three full edits of my novel, but better late than never… my plan is to complete them all and then do another pass-through for each character, keeping their traits and philosophies and motivations in mind. It’s funny, how all sorts of little details are coming forward while I’m writing these profiles. They were always things that were in the back of my head, vaguely affecting how my characters approached the world, but seeing them written down has set off a few lightbulbs in my mind. These new edits won’t be the major overhaul like what I’m doing now with the first four chapters, but I think all my characters will benefit from the new depth I’m discovering about them.

I’m using this as a kind of template for my profiles, and building off of those categories since each of them has very specific issues. I’m also going to do some very detailed relationship profiles for Callie-Dane and Callie-Matthieu. Right now I feel like while their relationships are very complex in my mind, they don’t always come across that way on the page. Having something to reference should help with that. Finally, I’m going to do one for the beginning of each book – the ones I’m writing now are like a snapshot of each character as the story begins. I’ll do new ones before I start writing each of the next two in earnest, as many things will have changed with respect to these people as their stories progress.

And now that NaNotQuiteANovel is over, I need a new goal for myself. By the New Year I’d like to have the 1-4 rewrite finished, plus all of the above. Fitting that in around all the holiday events and activities in my calendar (I’m feeling SO overscheduled right now, December is always a nightmare for this introvert) will be difficult but I think it’s manageable, as long as I can stay/start being motivated.

Good? Good.


I fear sometimes that I put too much of myself in my main character. I don’t know if I do it out of laziness, because it’s easier to make her like the same things I like, or because I relate to her (but of course I relate to her – she likes all the same stuff I do) or if it’s my ego getting totally out of check. But I’m starting to see it more and more the further I get into this story, and at over 25,000 words, I’m well into it.

Inspired by last night’s out-of-the-blue panic attack, I wrote about anxiety tonight and made Callie suffer from it as well. I also used one of my favourite fabric prints as the inspiration for a scarf she bought, and lastly, put her in possession of my very favourite boots, which are too distinctive to be mistaken for anything else in the description. The boots thing especially alarms me a little bit, because that’s so very specific. But it’s how I see it in my head, and I don’t want to deviate too much from the way it’s all arranged in there.

I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing entirely though. I think writing about stuff that I love makes me illustrate it better and makes it easier for readers to believe that she likes it too. In my last novel, I made my main female character a runner, something I hate, but I felt like when I described how she felt about running, it sounded unconvincing. Maybe that’s just me reading that part with the skeptic’s eye, because I dislike running so very much.

My misapprehension comes from the thought that instead of thinking “what would Callie do” in a specific situation, I’m thinking “what would I do,” and so she’s not coming into her own as a fully-fledged person. Because she is certainly not me, not even in my head, although she seems to have made herself right at home in there and talks to me often. To be sure, there are lots of differences between us too, more than there are similarities, and those differences are only going to multiply the more I write. Things are about to get a little bit crazy.

Surely there must be a blog post or something from another author who has addressed this in the past.

Feeling it

I have so much love for the people in this story.

That’s all, really.