Has your character’s journey ever taught you something?
We spend months (or, if you’re like me, years) with our protagonists, poring ourselves into their lives, problems, strengths, weaknesses, and the like. I draw a lot of comfort from watching my characters stumble, wander, hesitate, and ultimately succeed.
Having spent most of my time lately with my historical novel-in-verse, MAY B., my character, May, has been on my mind. She reminds me to deal with the present, not live in the past or future. She encourages me to keep working toward goals, especially those I might not ever achieve.
I realize this sounds like I’m confident my work is brimming with insight or that I think I’m brilliant. That’s not it. Really, believe me! I think, though, the slow, steady process that is writing has forced me to think intentionally about my characters, to see the options presented to them and watch, at a bit of a distance, how they choose to react.
The fact a character stumbles around makes their ultimate choices all the more significant, don’t you think? I’m thankful for the courage I glimpse May. I’ve grown as a person by spending time with her.
Does anyone else watch their characters at a distance, gaining insight along the way?
My agent call is tomorrow at eleven. Courage and confidence needed!