Saturday, 2 January 2010

Characters: Adding to the World Population.

Recently another writer told me that she cried when she finished writing her book. I thought it was interesting because I often do that too.

Perhaps it's because the ending was sad.

Perhaps it's because we just finished what seems like an eternity of work and exhaustion takes over.

But, I think for me, it's like losing a friend. It's like a scene at the airport: you know you'll see your friends and family again but you cry anyway.

My characters are dear to me, sometimes I know them better and have spent more time with them (in my mind) than I have with my real friends. I know my characters are not real. I know that I wont walk into a shop someday and see them. When I finish a novel I feel a sense of sadness knowing a chapter (no pun intended) of my life is done.

I miss them. Often their life, their story continues in my head and out pops the sequel.

Maybe I'm alone in feeling this, but, I don't think so. In my world, the population is just a little larger.



Anonymous said...

I'm so with you. I have to write to get the characters out of my head. Only when they're happily living in their own world do they stop sharing mine. And my world does seem a little desolate when they move out, at least until the new tenants come.

Viel Liebe

Anonymous said...

*In my world, the population is just a little larger.*

What a great line.

I've never finished writing a book, but I have cried for my main character. He's suicidal, and when his pain is close to the surface, I feel it as if it were me.

I feel certainly I'll cry when I finish with him - most assuredly because I know how he ends. I cried when I conceived of it, if that counts.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

They become real people, don't they?

I haven't cried, but I've snorted--my agent asked me a few weeks ago to change an aspect of my protagonist's personality that she thought was too harsh. The first thought that came into my head was, "It's impossible to force people to change." The thought startled me, since I'd come up with the "person" and should definitely be able to soften her...if I wanted to.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Ann Elle Altman said...

Candice, I hear you. I love re-reading my books too. It's like re-hasing the past with them. Thanks for the comment.

Corra, I'm glad you like the line. When you finish that book, I would love to read it. Sounds interesting.

Elizabeth, I find it difficult also when people tell me I should change this or that about one of my characters... especially if I know them well. It's like I have to get to know them all over again.

Thanks for the comments guys.


J.L. Campbell said...

I don't cry, but I admit to myself that I'll miss the characters. Like you, I follow up with a stand-alone sequel. That chases the blues away.

Ann Elle Altman said...

I'm reading one of your books and I know I will miss them when the book is done. I find myself already rooting for the two characters to get together.