...You just need to be (no not a doctor, it costs a lot of money to earn that degree); a writer. You read me right. It doesn’t take any money at all to start writing. A walk to the local library, plop yourself down at the public computers and start typing. There are free writing sites out there (my favorite is Protagonize, of course). Or you could sign up for free e-mail and send the story out to the ones you love. But, either way, it’s totally free to dish out agony and pain on the characters you create.
Of course being a writer comes with its own pit falls. If you’re doing it like I do, your characters start to live inside your head and you’ll find yourself talking to them at odd moments. Worse yet they could take over you words and you might blurt something out. I’m serious. Charley’s characters took over her blog once to plead for help.
I haven’t had anything so drastic happen. I prefer to be a benevolent Goddess and love dishing out happy endings. Not ever afters mind you, those are simply unrealistic, but what they call in the Romance industry ‘happily for now’ – my life is full of those moments so I share with my characters, the good guys at least. They in turn protect me from the evil nasties I’ve begun to create.
It’s quite fun, actually, to see my character come to life and grow into their own persons. Plus, it’s a lot less stressful than raising my kids. No one will accuse me of child abuse if I stuff a character into a bunker only to fill it with rotting vegetable stew. Not to mention those great character conversations that happen between me and Charley.
Of course, she’s like me so she doesn’t think I’m crazy for it. In fact I blame her for my characters becoming so vocal and active. Now I find them watching through my eyes and making observations about the world I live in. Sometimes keeping those thoughts to myself hard because... well, here’re two examples from Rachael.
My hubby and I were watching Firefly, I can’t remember the episode now, but Rachel grins at me from inside my skull.
“I like him,” she comments as Captain Reynolds kicks the bad guy into the running engine because he won’t take the Captain’s message back to his nefarious boss.
Of course, she would like Mal. Though I created her before I ever say Firefly or Serenity, Rachael is a female version of him. She runs her ship without a crew, though... Or, she did until I decided to reunite her with her hodge podge family. Don’t let her grumbling fool you, she loves them and woe to anyone who tries to mess with them.
Example 2 (links in this example are 'not safe for work')
My hubby and I got cozy and started watching Diary of a Nymphomaniac and Rachael saunters into my brain.
“That’s what I am,” she states, indicating the main character with a smirk.
I think my jaw must have dropped, even if I didn’t say what I wanted to. I mean,
I’d known she was an adrenal junkie. And sure, she was a saucy minx and liked sex, but a nymphomaniac? That threw a wrench into the works on the loving romance I was hoping to write in there. Michael might never get over his depression now!
Yes, us writers may be the Gods of our creations, but our characters will assert their individuality. Of course if they annoy us too much we can alter their stories to add more physical or mental anguish. However, these are probably thoughts best not said out loud because, as Miriam so nicely blogged about, you might have to tell the police: “I’m Not a Psychopath. Honest!”
Have you had any moments like that? I told my hubby about a couple and decided not to tell him anymore. I love the dear man and don’t want him to think I‘m crazier than he already does. Not to mention he’s currently my best editor... when I can get him to edit my stuff!
*Giggles and Grins*
:} Elo / Cathryn