When Your Fictional Characters Are More Important Than You

13 Mar


Do you ever have those nights where you just can’t seem to fall asleep?  I used to have these before a day where I knew it held some sort of importance.  When I was younger maybe it was picture day, or a big test.  Or Christmas.  I’d get in bed real early in hopes to fall asleep and be nice and rested the next day.  Instead, I’d lie there awake for hours, anticipating the day to come.  I’d think and worry and wonder and instead of sleeping, I would just lay there with my thoughts racing.

Now, I’m older (much older, unfortunately, than I was when I was a child).  Now, I still have nights like these, only it’s not before Christmas or a big test.  It’s nights when I’ve become so involved with a project that I can’t stop thinking about it. 

I recently started writing my next book, even though I told myself I’d hold off on writing another lengthy piece of fiction until I graduated school.  But I found myself up in bed last night, thinking about my character and what she would do next.  I couldn’t stop thinking about her and the magical world she had found herself in.  It got me excited.  But I’m still a little tired today.  This is when you know you’re involved in your work, when your characters lives become more important than your own. 

I find that magical in itself, getting so wrapped up in your own work that it feeds some inner part of you.  Did you ever write something that got you so excited that you were up all night?  You were so involved in your character’s fictional existence that it took over a decent portion of your life?  This, to me, is good writing.  When you yourself can’t wait to read what your character is going to do next.  That’s when you know what you’re writing is successful.

I have started to write things and got maybe two or three pages in, and just felt semi-good about it.  I saved them, but I didn’t continue in the moment.  If you don’t want to write it, who will want to read it?  That’s how I’ve felt about it this whole time.  (Though, that may be wrong.)  I’m not 100% sure.  It’s just what works for me. 

The best advice I was given long ago was “Write the book you want to read.”  That has stuck with me.  And it will forever be my number one motto when it comes to writing.


4 Responses to “When Your Fictional Characters Are More Important Than You”

  1. Mooselicker March 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    My creative juices rarely kick in until 8pm so if anything I usually end up staying up too late working on something. You’re right about this being a good thing. Getting locked into the world you’re creating is the best thing that can happen.

  2. averythorne March 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    I totally agree with writing stuff you’d want to read. I’ve wrote stories before, but couldn’t bring myself to read them afterwards, because they just didn’t interest me. If I can’t become interested in my own writing, than what’s the point?

  3. TheDisfigured March 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    If you don’t want to write it, nobody will want to read it- totally agree. It is the author’s responsibility to entertain and enlighten. If we fail, we have failed more than just ourselves.

    And yes, I have had my mind racing about current projects I have been working on, especially with my last book. Sometimes, my mind goes into a frenzy, and no idea makes sense until one finally does.

    I am glad, on the other hand, to hear that the new book you’re writing is keeping you up at night. It will be sure to make for good reading.

  4. grace March 16, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    I do know what you mean. Because, I need to know what happens next! I feel the same thing happens to me, not when writing but when reading a book you get lost in. You really can become so apathetic to the characters and their stories. Noone should ever write a book that they don’t want to read themselves!

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