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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The things our characters teach us...

Sunday morning, I woke up after having a series of bizarre dreams. As I showered and thought about them, I realized something pretty interesting about my writing. My characters, as much as I try to separate them from my real life, are taking a journey similar to one I'm on or have been on. I honestly never mean for it to happen, but there it is.

My heroine is at a crossroads. She's learned that someone she cares deeply about isn't the person she thought he was. And now she's got to decide how to handle it.

The cool thing about fiction is that characters learn a lot faster than we do. They can make the right choices because the great, wise writer can make it so. The funny thing is, as much as I can right the wrongs in my heroine's life, I have a much harder time doing it with my own.

As I examined my heroine's dilemma, it brought to mind a time I sat at a similar crossroads. My best friend had just betrayed me, and I was so hurt. I remember standing in the quad at school, and she tried to talk to me. But I walked away. I refused to listen, refused to talk. Granted, we'd been down that road before, and I was tired of having the same conversation only to have the same thing happen again. I used to be really proud of my decision to finally stop being walked on by this girl. With maturity and age, though, I've realized how unfair I was to not give her the chance to say her piece.

The truth is, I miss her. I wish I had the chance to tell her that I'm sorry for not giving her a chance. I've looked for her on the Internet, and haven't found her. Maybe some day. And maybe, because she used to love reading romance as much as I do, she'll read one of my books and we can find each other again. Or maybe, she'll find my blog and know that I am deeply and truly sorry. I am sorry, Sherry.

As I picture the look on my character's face at the moment of betrayal, I wonder, is that how she felt when I repaid my friend for injuring me by turning my back on her?

I am so glad my characters are a million times smarter than I am.

2 comments:

Jan Parrish said...

"The cool thing about fiction is that characters learn a lot faster than we do. They can make the right choices because the great, wise writer can make it so. The funny thing is, as much as I can right the wrongs in my heroine's life, I have a much harder time doing it with my own."

Yes, this is especially true and insightful. If only we could fix our lives as easily as we write a chapter.

Great post Danica.

Kay said...

But we have a great, wise "Writer" orchestrating our lives, too. And He is infinitely patient and good.
So, while we may make bad choices sometimes, He will bring things about to His will every time. That's what I believe anyway, so if Sherry needs to hear your apology, she will, some day.

Happy Thanksgiving, Danica!!