Saturday, February 6, 2010

Am I Cheating On My Characters?

For two years I've been working day and night on my book series, Blood Bound. For the past few months, I've lived and breathed along side my characters, Kira and Octavion. I've eaten with them, fought their battles with them, felt their pain and watched them fall in love. Now, after getting a little nibble of what the publishing world is all about, only to see it drift away, I find myself frantically grasping at everything I can to keep ahold. Fighting for that dream. Kicking and screaming my way upstream in a frail attempt to get all that I've lost back. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter. I'm not telling you this to gain sympathy or support, I'm merely saying I've done all I know--all I can--and gotten no results. I'll keep submitting to agents in hopes that one of them will share in my vision and accept my book AND accept me.

But in the meantime . . . I'm starting over.

I've found that my reason to write has changed over the past few months. In the beginning, it was my passion. I wrote to satisfy the need, to fulfill my dreams. I wrote because it was who I was--what I was. Somewhere along the line it became about something else. Whether it was just being published (which we all want) or the money or simply for the validation, I don't know. But it changed for me. I don't like where I am right now--who I am. I'm writing to sell, to impress, to prove to others that I'm not a failure, that I wasn't cast out because I was a bad person or because my book wasn't marketable. This person I've become is NOT me.

A week or so ago, I had a dream. It was so vivid and clear that I jotted it down. Over the days that followed, my muse grabbed hold of it and now it is the beginnings of a book--a series of books actually. So as I sit down to begin this new project, I find myself thinking about Kira and Octavion. Deep down, I know they're okay, sitting on a rock somewhere chatting about whatever, just waiting until I come back and write the next scene. But somehow I feel like I've abandoned them. They've become a part of me--become my friends. Am I cheating on them? And what about my new characters. I'm sure I'll make friends with Tara and Quinton. Their story deserves to be told just as Kira and Octavion's story did, and still does.

So I'm curious. How do you move on? How do you work on a project for weeks or months and then leave it behind to create something new and wonderful? Do you miss your characters, or is leaving them behind easy for you?

If you want to meet Octavion and Kira, go HERE.
And to meet Tara and Quinton, go HERE.

And here's a shameless plug for my friend's new book, "Wrong Number" - Go HERE to see her book trailer and to learn a little about Rachelle J. Christensen.


  1. I know exactly where you are coming from. I've been fighting the "why do I write" question for some months now. I am also thinking about exploring another story idea but find myself wondering if I'm just taking a break from my other book or if I'm not following through? Should move on to the notion of a carefree first draft, or push through my old story until I find the plot I want? I have no answers for you, just more questions!! LOL!

  2. Love this post! I too know how you are feeling. After I finished my first full manuscript I prayed for help in getting it published. My answer - I needed to stop working on it and focus on my children. My husband prayed and got the same answer.
    So I stopped.
    I missed my characters. I felt like two of my best friends had moved away. At the time, I thought I'd never see them again.
    Two years later, when I began to feel that it was time to start writing again, I had new and better ideas for their story. I re-wrote it, and for the first time felt it might be publishable.
    I was wrong, of course. But finishing that book gave me courage to go to a writer's workshop, where I started a NEW book at the encouragement of my teacher, and now have finished that new book at the encouragement of an editor. When I began my new book I was amazed by how quickly I grew to love my new characters, how their conversations would come into my head, how the scenes would play themselves out for me, even though it was all so different. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
    And now, with more new book ideas than I will ever have time to write, the possibilities seem endless!

  3. I don't think you're cheating on them. Just remind them that there is a season for everything. They had a season, and will have another one someday. Now it's the new character's season. I'm excited about Tara's story. It sounds wonderful.

  4. I had to leave them all behind as I kept writing and writing those 7 books... channeling as much as the Lord would give me. The best part was, when I had a moment to breathe and go back and reread each book-edit and rewrite, I found them just as amazing, if not more than when I first wrote them. I never gave up on the first, never... and even though it won't be published first (my 5th book will be), it will be published. I think of each one as my children, you don't give up on one child as soon as you become pregnant with the next, you just grow and learn as a mother and eventually you'll see them all succeed.

  5. Christine, loved this post. I became so attached to the characters in the novel I just finished writing that I actually cried when I finished.
    Thanks for the plug! I'm so excited for my book and it makes it so much more fun to share with friends.



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