Cruelty to Characters

I am so bad at being cruel to my characters. I felt awful about some of the things that happened to poor Tristan in Sanchin. And now I’m putting one of my babies through the wringer in Yantsu.

It’s not so much what I’m doing to him, but how long I’m leaving him to suffer while I do other things. I think I’ve finally flipped. I always thought I might go a bit mad if I started writing too often and now it’s happened.

I had a lovely day with my little niece, she was the perfect angel and everything went really well, but I spent a ridiculously large portion of the day worrying about one of my characters 😮

I had planned to get him out of trouble last night before I went to bed, but somehow I managed to dig him into an even deeper hole. Now he’s having a major crisis and I want to go to bed, but I just know if I do I won’t sleep because I’ll be thinking about him all night.

Does this happen to real writers? Or is it an affliction effecting those of us who just like to  disappear from time to time and go on adventures with people who only live in our heads. Is that what real writing is all about? Who knows?

We changed the clocks to daylight saving time last night, so even though I was out running at the usual time, my body thought it was up an hour early. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. Well, whatever it is, I’d better go and sort my guy out before I go to bed or I’ll really be getting up too early tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Cruelty to Characters”

  1. Hi Karen

    Thanks for passing by and leaving a comment on my book blog. 🙂

    I cried when I had to hurt my one character once. Funny thing though – in short stories I can be “mean” and even kill off a nice character and not feel much of a pang, but when you get as deep as you get with a book… ouchy. They hurt – I hurt.

    I do know (read somewhere, can’t remember now as it was years ago) how a some author said that once a character becomes “real” in a story they start doing things you don’t expect, because they follow themselves rather than being merely your puppets. I’ve had that happen to – with a romance I’d planned so perfectly between two characters fizzling out… because they just never took to each other beyond friendship. I tried forcing it, but it was just that – forced.

    Hope you (and your character) made it through the night ok.

    1. Karen says:

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for your comment. I know just what you mean about the difference between the characters in a short story and a novel length piece. I get so attached to them and they really do take on a life of their own. Sometimes I think I’m losing my marbles as I sit up late into the night trying to force a character, who’s digging in his heels, into my plot. I just doesn’t work.

      We did make it though the night but I don’t know if we’ll make it though the next week or two because I’m about to get a whole lot meaner 🙁

Comments are closed.