Character Haunting




Happy Fall Ya'll! Hoping that the cooler weather has left all of you inspired. I've found that fall and winter are some of the best times to write. There is no longer anything to do outside. It is too cold for the beach, lake, or park, so why not write?

A few weeks ago I read this play called Six Characters In Search of an Author by Pirandello. In the play there are six people who come to a producer and ask him if he'd be their author. One of the characters ask: "Isn't it your job to give life on the stage to imaginary people?" This got me thinking. A piece of paper or a blank document in Word is our stage. We are to create a life for imaginary people. The only problem with imaginary people is that they sometimes seem real to their author, as the play so perfectly points out. The stepdaughter in the play says:
           
 "It is true, I would go and tempt him, time after time, in his gloomy study just as it was growing dark, when he was sitting quietly in an armchair not even bothering to switch a light on but leaving the shadows to fill the room: the shadows were swarming with us, we had come to tempt him."

Have you ever felt haunted by a character? Have you ever caught your mind exploring characters, scenery, or plot too often? I have felt haunted by every one of my MCs. It's like they are stuck in my mind and are begging to get out. They never really "live" until they are put into words.

The father says: "A character, my dear sir, can always ask a man who he is, because a character really has a life of his own, a life full of his own specific qualities, and because of these he is always "someone." While a man - I'm not speaking about you personally, of course, but man in general - well, he can be an absolute "nobody."

As writers, we have a unique opportunity to create life, to invent a new reality. We need to embrace our imaginations and explore the boundaries of the "someones" we create. We need to dive into the world inside our head and do our best to replicate it with beautiful words on a page or computer screen.

Next time you're tempted by your character to write/ give them life, I challenge you to do it. I challenge myself to do it because just as the play says: "A character never dies."

Happy writing, friends!

Weekly Prompt: "On the third step, I saw..."
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