Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday's Inspiration - Quote from an essay by Catherine Gavin

While I don't know the author's work, this quote from her essay in The Writer's Handbook set me off. She speaks of an interview she had when the interviewer asked "Does it give you a sense of power to know you can manipulate the characters in your novels and move them about exactly as you please?" This set me to wondering if this is what happens when I write.

What about you? Do you manipulate your characters?

For me when I write it's not about manipulating the characters to make them fit the story. It's a matter of getting to know the people I write about, just like getting to know the people I meet. Yes, these characters are products of my imagination rather than living, breathing people but the process of writing involves knowing a character. I use Astrology when I'm creating characters so I have an idea about their inner nature, their emotional reactions and the face they show the world. Using these things brings me to the situations I have created for the characters to face.

As the story develops I have more ideas of how the people I've created will act in a given situation. Not always the way I thought when I began the story. The character doesn't take over as much as I have learned more about them and how they will react to what is happening in the story I've created. It's not a matter of manipulation, it's a matter of knowing the characters.

How about you? Do your characters evolve as you write the story and you learn more about who they are and how they would react and act?

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