Jump to content

Where Characters Come From by Cory Doctorow


Camy

Recommended Posts

Great article. Left me thinking, and I realized that while there's no fanfic involved, I have readers that are heavily invested in some of my characters. That, I've always thought, is a very good thing.

Colin :icon_geek:

Link to comment

I think it is the greatest compliment a writer can receive when a reader begs to know more about the characters in a story. Doctorow is completely right, a reader like that is a treasure to behold. If after weeks or months spent writing a story the author can so completely transfer the characters into the reader's mind the story succeeds.

Even years after writing a story I can still image a character in my head. They exist on the page but over time they mature and often grow clearer in the imagination. I think that's a good thing because I hate to repeat myself in plot or character. It's good to listen to what the readers say, but they cannot guide my imagination since they are always one step behind me.

Good article, Camy. Thanks for sharing.

Link to comment

Excellent article from a favorite writer of mine.

I emphatically agree. In writing, when I'm feeling the emotions of the characters, when I'm truly reacting to what they're going through, when the words are coming almost unbidden out of my fingertips and I feel more like I'm reading than actually writing as I watch the story unfold on the screen in front of me, even though I know exactly what I'm doing and what's going to happen, that's when I know the writing has meaning. That's when I'm confident I will be able to elicit those same emotions from readers. Incidentally, that's also when writing is most fun.

It's odd when you think about it. It's rather self-centered and vain, and a bit embarrassing. But there I sit, chortling gleefully at jokes that I made and feeling ever so proud when my character gets out of a nasty jam. But, somehow that's just how it works.

Link to comment
In writing, when I'm feeling the emotions of the characters, when I'm truly reacting to what they're going through, when the words are coming almost unbidden out of my fingertips and I feel more like I'm reading than actually writing as I watch the story unfold on the screen in front of me, even though I know exactly what I'm doing and what's going to happen, that's when I know the writing has meaning.

Yeah, I agree very much with this. For me, just the other day, I felt like the experience is closer to watching a movie in your head, and just frantically trying to describe what you just saw and heard in words that go down on the screen. The movie's playing all the time, sometimes redoing itself, sometimes flashing forward to a moment that won't happen in the novel for sometime, and it can be a chore keeping track of all of the little pieces.

Stephen King has said that all his characters represent some facet of his own personality (though he steadfastly denies ever killing anybody). I don't think it's coincidental that several of his major protagonists in past novels were writers. I find even the evil characters have shreds of emotions we've all felt and understand, at least on some level.

Link to comment

http://now.msn.com/g...athy-study-says

Ahh, now there is a study telling us what we already know. I need to develop a government grant to do a study like this and get paid for what writers here see as common knowledge. Of course, if we get young readers to embrace the empathy and fairness we expouse towards our gay characters then we will have succeeded. :icon_thumleft:

Typical of online journalism, there is no attribution to which organization is doing this study. Don't they imagine some of us might like to see and taste the whole banana instead of just looking at the peel? Take it away Des.....this s right down your alley....in your tree...whatever.

Link to comment

Wonder if I could get funding for my study. I have theorized that if I open the hot tap running into the bathtub a little farther than the cold tap, the water in the tub will be hotter than if I just open them the same amount. And, incredibly, if I do the same with the cold tap, the water will resultantly be cooler! Who knew! I think this should be codified, examined, tested and explained, all of which will require a two-year study. I'll need a staff of tweny and a facility built, but I think a $700,000 dollar grant should about cover it. Oh, and I insist on royalities on all published works that come from this.

Link to comment

Wonder if I could get funding for my study. I have theorized that if I open the hot tap running into the bathtub a little farther than the cold tap, the water in the tub will be hotter than if I just open them the same amount. And, incredibly, if I do the same with the cold tap, the water will resultantly be cooler! Who knew! I think this should be codified, examined, tested and explained, all of which will require a two-year study. I'll need a staff of tweny and a facility built, but I think a $700,000 dollar grant should about cover it. Oh, and I insist on royalities on all published works that come from this.

$700,000 seems remarkably inexpensive for such a worthy study, Cole. Is that per month, or per staff member?

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...