Sunday, November 9, 2014

Toni's Big Six Journey #7

Don’t distance yourself
You’ll get this feeling, this feeling in your heart and you have to. If you distance yourself from your book, if you say you want no part of this and distance yourself from it, then all you are doing is putting words on paper and that will get you nowhere. You have to put your soul into it. You have to break when your characters break. You have to cry when your characters cry. You have to love when your characters love. Hate when they hate. And finally you have to learn to let go just as your characters do. But most importantly you have to feel them.

How you will feel them
You’ll get this pain in your chest. Almost like a quiver in your heart. It will feel worse than anxiety, it will feel worse than getting nervous when you are near your crush. Your heart will stop beating in a way. You won’t feel your normal heart, the normal rhythm. Your heart will feel as though it is shaking, an earthquake is happening inside your chest. Then and only then will you know what it is like to live with more than one heart in your chest.

What it is like to live with more than one heart
You adopt your characters hearts and adapt to them. You will soon see the things that your characters like are the things that you’ll like too. You will see someone and you will think oh that person is so character X’s ideal person and you may slowly start to be attracted to the same style. And it's not because you are losing yourself to your character—although you are in a way—but you are learning yourself through your characters. Sometimes it will because the person will look like a character or have the same behavioral traits as them and that is where it gets dangerous, because no matter how much you want to, you cannot marry your character. But if that person likes you back…well go for it. You in time will learn that the person is a separate entity from your character and learn to love them for who they are and you will also thank your character for introducing you to them. It doesn’t matter if you like someone as a friend, romantically, whatever because they remind you of someone in your book, of course you will be drawn to them, attracted to them, but you have to realize this person is not your character come to life. It is perfectly okay to let that be what attracted you to that person, but you cannot be mad at them if they do not react like your character, behave like your character…and if they do…by all mean marry the person, because you figured it out and brought your character to life so go off and me merry.

Be merry and do lose yourself
But you have to let your characters live off the page and through you if you want a successful story. Because you can’t just sit down with a pen and say, "okay, story time" and write. You need to bring your characters with you everywhere and learn through them and with them and learn them and how they will react. Writing is a 24/7 job not just when you have a pen in your hand. Do not distance yourself from your work, because if you do in time you will no longer pick up a pen.

Share your pens
Don’t be scared by your characters, you created them, let them live. And if need be…give them a pen too.

Side Note
For the love of all things holy I kind of hate the word character(s). To me it is sooooooooooooooooo distancing. To us (to me) they are real; they are more than a one-dimensional ink-conceived literary tool. To me they are three-dimensional and as real as my muse Anne.

Keep writing & remember

Listening to: These Words from Natasha Bedingfield-Natasha Bedingfield

Quotes: “Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.”
—Leslie Gordon Barnard, WD

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
—Ernest Hemingway

“Whether a character in your novel is full of choler, bile, phlegm, blood or plain old buffalo chips, the fire of life is in there, too, as long as that character lives.”

—James Alexander Thom

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