When your characters make you strong

I’ve been having a rough week, a rough month, really. I’m not one to share personal matters with the public (heck, I barely share them with my friends), but suffice to say, this morning I was having a very nice little pity party. Unable to bring myself to clean the house, or do the myriad of other things on my to-do list, I got back to work on book five of the Xoe Series. Serious work. Twenty-two more pages kind of work.

Now, even though Xoe is 17, and I’m at the ripe age of 28, I realized that we are dealing with some pretty similar feelings currently. Yet, today as I wallowed, feeling bad for myself, Xoe decided to go out and kick some butt instead. She had a run in with Jason that left her with more questions than answers, but is she sitting around and crying about it? Nope. She’s solving a murder. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but Xoe is learning a lot about herself in this book, and I have to admit, she’s inspiring me.

It’s a strange feeling when a character of your own creation has something to teach you, especially when that character is a rather brazen teenager, but I’ll take my lessons as they come. Sometimes pain is the only way for us to learn just how strong we are, and if Xoe can get through it, so can I.

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39 thoughts on “When your characters make you strong

  1. Yes! I do this a lot actually. Write to get out my emotions and then realize that sometimes they aren’t even *just* my emotions. Or I channel more of myself into a character than I realize.
    Another thing I’ve noticed that can help is reading other strong characters or characters who get their teeth kicked in but still get up and fight every day. (For this, I personally recommend anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Patricia Briggs, or Anne Bishop.)
    Oh, and hang in there. Nothing last forever. And I’m glad to see your pity party turned into something constructive. You go, girl!

    1. Haha glad I’m not the only one, and thanks for the recs and kind words! I usually turn to Laurell K Hamilton or Kim Harrison, but I’ll have to check out the ones you listed. Now that my eyes are about to burst from staring at my computer, I’ll will away the rest of my pity with reading :).

  2. I find working with my characters a lot like giving advice to friends… It’s a lot easier to see ways do someone else to cope with things. The trick is learning from them…

    1. So true. It’s much easier to see what a character must do, than to know what to do yourself. Maybe I’ll write out all of my troubles in fiction form from this point onward ;).

  3. I don’t know you personally but I’d say that you’re just as strong as she is. Writing is a powerful form of creativity. In the face of what you’re going through you still find power to practice your craft and that’s pretty darn awesome!

  4. Maybe it’s the eclipse energy or something, but I know what you mean. My characters regularly surprise me with stuff about myself that I didn’t realize I was holding and had been holding for a long time. I just finished writing a section on sisters and realized I was writing about my own. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Ah, the truth of ourselves coming out in our characters… know that feeling. The character I’ve been writing about- Edie- is a bit daft, impetuous, mouthy, but incredibly brave and loving. She has some of the worst and best parts of me and she has qualities which I envy her for. I could aspire to be like her, but then I’d get myself into a massive heap of trouble if I did!
    I’ll just have to admire her behaviour from afar…
    Best of luck

      1. It would be great if we could emulate our character’s courage- in a safe environment with a 100% guaranteed positive outcome, of course πŸ™‚

  6. I have discovered this too… not only do my characters write my books for me, they have plenty to say about the way I live my life too. Very handy for someone who wouldn’t dream of sharing her emotions with anyone else.
    I love it!

    1. I love that you say your characters write your book for you, I feel the same way. When someone asks why I took a story in a certain direction I’m like DUDE, I had no choice.

  7. I can so relate! This post made me laugh. I’m always trying to live up to the principles of my characters. They’ve taught me quite a bit and I’ve had to make changes to my life based on their wisdom. Weird, huh?

  8. I know I’m a teenager myself, and have ZERO experience with the kind of stuff you’re going through (whatever that may be). But I do know other people makes us strong, and characters can be just as real as people because they live in the mind. And they can be a part of ourselves, or separate entities, but they can affect us just as much as those who breathe and live in the “outside world”. The fact that Zoe made you strong – some people call that poetic, or beautiful, but I call it real.

  9. That’s so cool that your characters affect you life that! Definitely a testament to the strength of your characterization πŸ™‚ I hope you get past everything that’s troubling you soon

  10. Yeah… it happens that sometimes we put the values or qualities we’d like to have in our characters without realising it. It’s our own deepest thoughts put on paper. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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