Writing is entertaining one’s self at its highest level. Unlike a book, a movie or a TV show, you are not constrained by a time line you can’t control. As a writer, the story goes where you choose, well most of the time. I have been writing at times with one goal in mind, when my character leaps from the page to say, “No, that’s not right. I need to do this.”
When a character comes so alive that they dictate the story line, it is even better. The story is alive. Just as the good Doctor Frankenstein had his creature, so do does every writer who has that “Ah ha moment.” The moment when the story comes flowing out faster than you can put it to paper, or type it into your computer. Those moments are rare for me, but when they occur I know that part of the story is worth saving at any cost.
A character who comes alive for the write is just as real as the neighbor next door. The character has likes and dislikes. Not all exposed on the printed pages, but you as a writer know those traits. Often they are only glimpsed by the reader, but the writer holds them close, knowing it’s why the character acts as they do. In one novel I wrote, I failed to realize that one character was a black woman until my editor commented on the fact and wondered why I had not fully described her. It never occurred to me, she was just a woman in the story. As I said, some character take on a life of their own without the writer knowing it at times. These are my favorite characters.
I had a character in one novel whose story line ended. When I went back to proof that section, I was so upset by her conclusion in that novel, I had to bring her story line back in the next book even if she were not part of the main story. I could not leave her in misery. She was too good of a person for that. She had come alive in my mind. She was real, she had heartaches and I wanted to help her. She was not just words on a page to me.
When I write, it is for myself. My hope is that others will read it, and enjoy the characters as much as I do. But even without readers, writing is my pleasure.