Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This is the second half of Monday's Recap post. It's a two-halver so bare with me. I'll make it brief. 
'K, roller blading. I didn't. 
Sorry. I. Am. Pathetic....and oh so addicted Writer. 

I spent the entire bus trip there writing up four interviews--the famous Roecker girls, S. Kyle Davis, Elizabeth Kolodziej for the Graffiti Wall, and Artist Arthur for my Team Blog, Oasis for YA. Phew...(Psst...I'll schedule these in my coming events sidebar soon.)

Then, instead of skating--which I could have done--I chose to take a few pictures of the kids, a few video clips, and...pathetically read. I did. Shameful me. I need to learn balance.  

I did have two video clips for you, but my camera has gone mental on me and won't give me the SD card. *shrug* Hubby will have to look at it. Lucky him. *snigger*

~~immortalized characters~~

i wanted to share with you the fascinating results from Monday's challenge. on one hand i was surprised, but on the other hand, not so much. because i know how possessive i am with my characters. the thought of anyone tampering with them is heartbreaking. they appeared in my head--God help them--but they did. let's look at what you said.

Justine Dell said, " And I would totally change one of my MC's for your post, but I'm pretty tight with my guys/gals. Changing them is like stabbing myself through the heart! It's pathetic, I know."  

Stina said, "Oh and I'm with Justine about changing my characters. I can't do it. :)"

Tahereh said, "i'm going to do your exercise in my head, mostly because im afraid of immortalizing that change in writing! i can't imagine them too much different :( scares me. lol."

Joanne B. said, "I can't change my characters. I love them too much just the way they are!"

Carolyn V. said, "Oh, can I change my cute characters? That's hard!"

I only had two trusty souls, hearty enough to tread such deep waters.

Creepy Query Girl said, "Hmn...Well, I've got a lesser character named Emma. She's an albino highschool student who tries to remain invisible but..well, she's albino. How about, just for today, I make her into a dark haired raven with an attitude?"

MBW aka Olleymae said, "There is this one character I keep thinking of changing...if not axing out all together. I'll have to play with it first tho..."

MBW, i'm not sure if that really counts. And as for Creepy Query Girl, although she did make the most virtuous effort I believe the phrase 'just for today' says it all.

why do we cling so closely to our characters? why does the thought of anyone changing them hurt us?


  1. Becasue we've learned to love them, and the thought of killing them off drives us to tears and insanity, as though they were real human beings. That's a writer for you. We cling onto our characters as though they have their own souls, and changing those souls would ruin the stories we have so desperately slogged our precious time and energy on. We've learned to love them. Would you change your husband's character? Well, that's my two cents ;-)

  2. We do cling to them, don't we? I think it's because we've created them and we believe they "belong" to us. What's even more mind-boggling is when we cling to words and phrases as we edit. We're so afraid of making edits and changes, we often cling to them in a way that defies writing sense. The bottom line is to take in input from others and weigh it with an open mind. I think we've all been there, though. Any writer can completely understand the sentiment that you feel like you know your characters better than anyone else.


  3. I wouldn't roller blade either. I'd probably break a bone.

    I think it depends where you are in revisions on whether you want to change your character. If you're more in the beginning of your novel or revisions, it can be a useful exercise to change your characters and may change your story in interesting ways. If you're toward the end of a story you're relatively happy with, it seems like maybe not so helpful to do.

  4. I think it's all a matter of degrees. If someone came to me and said, "You know, after reading 1/2 of this book, I just don't believe Sadie would do x." well, I might consider changing that particular action. But if someone said (and this has happened), I don't get that she can be both caring and snooty. That's not something I will change about her. The snooty is part of her character flaw. And I know people like this IRL.

  5. Because no matter who they are, they're a part of us. We read their thoughts, and they ours.

  6. Jessica said it well. My characters are a part of me. Changing them is like changing myself.


  7. I agree. It's like they're real people. Now, if you asked me to change my husband for a day...

  8. I agree with everyone and their feelings about their characters. We've all written our characters the way they are for a reason, so they can make it - or in some cases not make it - through the tale we've written for them. Changing them would be like changing the tale. I think it would be easier to change another's author's characters.

  9. I think it's because changing a character isn't changing a character. Switching a personality trait actually makes that character into a different person entirely. We may like that new person, yeah, but it's not the same one. And switching MCs when you're halfway through a novel? Yeah, it doesn't sound like a good idea. A good exercise for curiosity's sake, definitely - I loved the idea - but for a permanent change? *shudder*

  10. i have to agree with everyone else -- they feel so REAL. it seems, like, BETRAYAL, to change them. like you wouldn't grab your best friend and tell her to be someone else. you just can't.

    but let's pretend for a moment i didn't just compare a fictional character to my best friend.


  11. Heck, I even have a hard time changing the names of my characters after I've worked with them for so long. It's part of who they are (though I have done it, but not for the major players).

    Great post!

  12. lol...I don't know if it counts either ;)

    I think our characters all feel like they're there for a reason. Lots of times they tell us who they are--that's why it's so hard to change them!!!!

  13. It was recently suggested to me that I change the POINT OF VIEW of a manuscript -- not even change the characters, but just switch from first person to third person. I freaked out over the idea of "losing my main character's voice."

    But I tried it, and it turns out this may have been the smartest move ever. Did a shift in point of view change my MC? Yes, because "her" voice became my voice (which it really was in the first place). She became a little more vulnerable, a little less confident, less analytical and more reactive.

    And -- oh, how it improved her!

    So, as much as we fight it, sometimes change can be good.


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