Friday, January 12, 2007


Yes, the whole idea of writing character-driven fiction is to make your characters unforgettable. Unforgettable to the reader, that is.

But what if they haunt you, coming back to interfere in story after story, needing to be chased away because they don't belong.

Or worse, what if *someone else's* characters keep getting into your writing?

I have a recurring character who slips into my writing when I am trying to stick to a plotline or follow a general outline. She springs in, fully developed from other stories, to let me know my current characters are weak, underdeveloped or so much like her that they might as well *be* her. Sometimes this works out and the character motivates me to write another story in a series. But more frequently I have to write her out and go back to develop the character I had in mind for the piece originally.

She can be a real pain – but also a thermometer to let me know my current work has some lukewarm or cold spots.

Writing someone else's characters – unless you are writing fanfiction – could be a real problem. I haven't had this happen – at least I don't think so – but I have been so enamored of some fictional characters that I have really wished them to be real, and I have wanted them to peek into my stories for a cameo.

I have to think this is a sincere form of admiration – a writer so completely won me over with a character so real and so sympathetic to my odd tastes that I crave their appearance in my own work.

So, has this happened to you? What do you do about it?


The last of the Oreo cookies.

Alton Brown explaining all about barley last night. The man is possessed. I mean that in a good way.

My elderly dog snoring in tune last night – it sounded like she was singing!

1 comment:

Bernita said...

Let's put it this way, I devoutly HOPE none of those unforgettable and favourite characters insinuate themselves in my books.