The competition that Book Lover’s Club ran on Facebook last week has ended and I’ve both chosen a winner and answered her question over on Facebook. There were so many excellent entries and it was a difficult decision to make. So much so that I’ve decided to answer all ten questions that were asked here on my blog. I’ll post a new question and answer every few days over the next couple of weeks.
Let’s start with the winner, Karen Chisholm, who asked the following:
I’d love to know how Kirstyn feels about her own characters . . . do they stay with her / nag at her with more stories to tell?
I love my characters. All of them, even the not-so-nice ones. I think writers almost have to love their characters in order to create them, and to make them feel real enough that readers care about what happens to them. Bear in mind that “love” doesn’t necessarily mean “like” or “approve of”! But you need to understand them as people, and usually to know a lot more about their background, personality and motives than you necessarily reveal on paper.
Madigan is one of my favourite characters, possibly because I lived with her inside my head for a very long time. I talked to her, asked her opinions of things, though about how she would react to certain people, situations, obstacles or opportunities. So it was really hard — and remains difficult — to put her aside and work on something new. In a sense, she is still there inside my head, making the occasional comment, but mostly just sulking about being ignored in favour of the new kids. I might, and it’s a very small “might”, write about her again some day but at the moment I have no real plans.
I have had characters pop up in my writing more than once, usually playing minor roles in stories which are not their own. Once I find a character’s real story, and tell it, that will usually be it for them. (Unless, of course, I need them for another bit part somewhere or other along the line.) There are too many other stories and other characters to write about. Too many voices demanding to be heard. I do miss most of them, when their story is finished. I don’t think I would want it any other way.
If you’re on Facebook, please take a minute check out Book Lover’s Club — a site dedicated to the discussion of books of all genres, for book-lovers right across the globe.