When I was working on “Summer Rain” it was at a devastating time in my life as I was grieving the loss of my “Chloe”. I poured my emotions into it and in some of the scenes you can really tell I did. But I think that is what made it the touching story it turned out to be. (My words and some of the test readers.) And now as I write “Autumn Wind” I’m right back there. It has almost been a year since I last saw that smiling face of my niece and heard her little laugh as my husband played with her, and now as I come to a part in this story, I can feel the emotions all coming back.
This post isn’t about that though, it is about how real our characters can be to the readers. As a writer they of course are real to you and you feel horrible for what you put them through, (Not really when they keep their scenes playing through your mind as you try to sleep, relax, drive, or anytime you are trying to have some fun…you know what I mean). I mention this because it had become all too real for me when I’m sitting with my daughter (Amber who is 14) and I pitch ideas to her. I remember one day after I picked her up from school and told her how I had written an accident scene that involved Nick and Kevin. The look on her face as I explained what had happened was one of “What have you done and please don’t let one of them die.” So after explaining the idea I had about how the story could play out, she (being the carbon copy of me) started to yell at me about how I couldn’t do this to them! How unfair I was being and I had better fix it! So I scratched that idea and it still turned out to be a story I was very happy with and one I can’t wait for people to read and see what they think.
Now as I’m writing this one, I have been reading to my mom and also sending some to a writer friend of mine. * Note to all, if I turn up dead anytime soon; have them question my mom and said friend.* They both have an idea where I’m going and are both willing to kill me if I do what they think I’m going to do. This time, it has to be this way. Sorry, you will see as it plays out why. I guess the funny thing that has happened was that today my mom said to me when I called her, “I am really worried about Kevin and Gabbie. I wish they could see that they really belong together and work this out before Gabbie gets married to that jerk Jason.” Ah okay, nice way to start the phone call, lol. I love the reactions I get from test readers too. It makes me see how I must be doing something right to make people get so in tune with my characters that they think of them as real people and worry about them.
I really am not sure how I will feel when I’m done writing about the Allen family. I still have 2 more books after this one and as I am writing I have to come to see them as real people who are just trying to live their lives as long as the crazy woman writing it will let them be. In the stories I can always go back and redo what I have done. I only wish that in real live we could do the same. Miss ya Chloe!
Pease,Love,Hope & Waiting~JC