Friday, July 10, 2009

My characters are pieces of me

Ava is the main character of my story. 
She is quite different from me, but there are definitely relatable parts of her personality.  
There's a scene where she meets a cute surfer, and well, I think she is an average teenager - it was fun remembering that phase of life- the butterflies, the awkwardness...  She is trying to deal with things that many teens go through and at the same time, she is dealing with some that not very many people experience until much later in life, (like the death of a close family member).  

I mentioned in my last post that I personally was holding her back from doing what she should because it wasn't what I would do.  It was a growing experience for both of us, and sort of like allowing my child to make her own choices.  Pretty scary and cool at the same time.    

I also have this character that's very bulbously pregnant, but she's still this amazing fighter even with her humongous belly.  I love her.  She's strong and crazy and - well, I'm not much like her, but there are some things that I really envy in her personality which is why I think I like her so much.  

It's strange how my characters are somehow all pieces of me or parts of me that I wish I had.  

The relationship that I've depicted between the brother and the sister is derived from my own experience with my brother.  Of course, it's different enough that I'm not re-telling our own stories, but that emotion is still there, that connection is still there, even though they are twins. 
I think that's why the siblings had to be a brother and a sister for me to really get it right.  

They say "write what you know," and there's little things in all of my scenes or characters that are a very real part of me or my life.  

My husband started reading my story without my knowledge.  He told me something interesting.  That the Grampa character I've written reminds him of Robert Redford -that's who he visualizes when he reads the part.  I thought "that's awesome!"  It was not at all what I intended, but I see where he's coming from.  It's really cool to have someone else's experience and thoughts meld with my own and create this very real experience for Matt that is unique to him.  
Who knows?  Maybe we can persuade Robert Redford to play the part in the movie!  Ha!  I would just die of happiness.  

The character is really caring and involved.  Both of my biological grandfathers passed away some time ago and I don't really feel that I was mature enough to know them truly well.  It's sort of the relationship I would have liked to have had, I think.    

There's also several characters with accents.  Anyone who knows me from way back when would probably know that I'm obsessed with accents.  In fact, when I started writing, the voice I wrote in was not my own, but an idealized one - one that sounded smarter and much more articulate.  It's funny to me - I think I was not sure of myself and really lacked confidence at the beginning of writing the book.  Again, a growing process.  

Last weekend I had my second story/writing critique.  It's all going well.  People were actually asking to see my rough-draft manuscript because they didn't want to wait to find out what happens.  I am totally floored and really very flattered.
One group member, who I had never met before, said the piece was really well written and easy to read.        

Of course, I think I need to go through at least one round of revisions to each bit before I can let people read it.  There's too much going on in my head that isn't on paper, or in my case, on screen, just yet.  There are still things that people pick up on that are not consistent or that require a little more thought.  Gosh, I don't know what I would do without the group's help. Really is a top-notch bunch of writers and I really respect their opinions.     

Anyway, there are definitely things that are opposite of my life in the book, but I think people who know me will be able to have plenty of "Aha!" moments and may even find bits of themselves within the pages.  

The way the book is now, the mother character is really quite cold - which is absolutely opposite of my Mom.   So, Mom, when you read the book, THAT character is not you!  

 Thanks for reading! 
Let me know your vote if you get a chance.  



CaRoLiNe said...

you know my vote is YES!

i giggled to myself when you spoke of your affinity for accents...something we share. (because obviously we share half of our genes *wink* )

it is wonderful to see the progression of your writing, through the personal experiences you're having. it is almost like you discover something about yourself as you write a piece of fiction...and that is just CRAZY COOL!


love and more love!

Lauren said...

Thanks for the positive vote, lady!

I definitely have been learning a lot about myself in the process.

I've also learned that some things I write are not something I should hang on to. Some things don't fit or aren't relevant, so I'm learning about that editing process.

It's scary and freeing to just hit "delete" sometimes.

But I'm not too far into editing just yet. I need to finish my story first. ; ) Hopefully by Christmas!

Thanks love.