Monday, April 4, 2011

Connecting with Characters

So, three weeks ago today, I started a new work in progress. I've been keeping track of my progress and on this book's three week anniversary, I'm at 28k words and I could be much higher if it wasn't for RL roadblocking me.

That's a lot.

I usually don't write that fast.

I swear.

Part of it is I'm really determined to finish this book. I gave myself a weekly word count goal, date to finish, yada yada. While I know that's a big part of it because I'm one of those crazy, obsessive people who can't stand not to meet a goal or a deadline, I know that's not the only reason this book is flowing so well for me. Do you want to know what that reason is? Well, I hope so because I'm going to tell ya.

It's because this book is really close to my heart.

We all hear the "write what you know" thing and while I think we should all write what we DON'T know once in a while, I happen to be going through some of the same things as the main character in my book right now. I've gone though them for a portion of my life and I'm actually working through some of it at the same time Annabel is.

We're on the same wavelength right now. Riding some of the same fears and excitement and it makes the book really click for me. I understand how she feels in a way I've not always felt with some characters.

It's pretty darn awesome.

If you write, have you ever written a book where you're dealing with some of the same things as your main character? Did it help?

If you're not a writer, are there times you're dealing with something and you LOOK for books with characters dealing with the same situation to help you get through it? Are there certain characters you've really connected with?


  1. I'm SO glad to hear that you're connected with Annabel - she's such an amazing character!
    I can't say that I've had much in common with any of my characters' lives, honestly, especially since they've all been magical in some way. But even though I don't have super-human abilities (drats), I try to relate to their basic, core emotions as they search for their place in the fantasy worlds: insecurities, desires, longing to be loved and needed.
    If I can't latch on to a character's emotions in a book I'm reading, it won't receive more than 3-4 stars max.

  2. Woo hoo. Go Kelley, go Kelley, go Kelley! I love connecting with characters that pop into my work.

  3. All the character I'd ever written about were connected to me in some way, more so in Ellie from Letters for Meredith, but I think it's important anyway for all characters to be relatable in some way to everyone, so of course all my characters had some part of me in them.

    I really just confused myself. OI...

  4. Wendy,
    So glad you like Annabel! I can't wait to finish so you can read the whole thing.

  5. Evie, lol. Don't be confused ;) It made sense to me.

  6. That is some speedy writing right there.

    I've been writing my current novel, Divided really fast. not 28k in 3 weeks fast, but pretty fast considering school and homework and my slow typing speed. I reached 10k yesterday, and I don't know if I've ever been so pumped. But the characters are going through similar things as me. Not the plot related stuff (That would be ridiculous) but some of the inner stuff, like hopes and fears and depression and anxiety and all that. They're the same age as me, live in a similar environment (Small town Ontario, oh yes)and, in Gen's case, have the same sort of pets that I have.

    I never got this far with Ghost ever, and I worked on it for 4 years. Almost five now. I've been working on Divided for two weeks.

  7. I've always had an easier time with characters who were/are more like me. I don't think I've written any who were going through the same things as me RIGHT NOW, but they're all extensions of myself and something I know the feeling of well.

    I'm amazed at how you've plowed through this first draft! Keep at it!!

  8. Lydia, that's so awesome about Divided! I hope the fire stays lit! :)

  9. Kell,
    You and me both. I'm shocked at my progress. LOL

  10. I'm writing a drama so I've been reading dramas. Also, I give all my peeps something of me.

  11. This is a kick butt blog. Wish I'd found you sooner, but now is great too.

  12. Hi Kelly,
    For Winter's Shadow, my first novel, I chose to write from the point of view of seventeen year old girl. I'm a thirty-one year old guy so you might think I'd have trouble connecting to my lead character and I did, until I realised there wasn't much of a difference between a shy introspective, seventeen year old girl and a shy introspective, seventeen year old boy.