when characters breathe

I’d like to say that I create my characters, that it’s my imaginative mind that conjures up these people. That’s just not true. They birth themselves. Really, they come to me seemingly out of thin air and they are who they are. I’m not allowed to bend them to fit a story that I want to tell. In fact, they demand to tell the story, their story. I’m nothing but a lowly medium for their voice.

And as the words flow from my characters, I get to know them and they become real people for me. Is that weird? I hear their tones of voice, see their expressions and, most disturbingly, I feel their pain.

Any author worth his or her salt knows that a great story means putting your characters through hell. That’s heartbreaking to do when you care about them and feel what they feel, but do it a storyteller must.

Think of characters as though they were actual children and perhaps you’ll better understand an author’s dilemma.

Thanks for reading,