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  • melissaolthoff4

When Your Characters Become Real

Sometimes, those voices in our heads take on a life of their own. They become real, living, breathing people. . . who just happen to live in a fictional world. Don't ask me how it happens (though if you ask my husband it's because I'm crazy lol), but some characters just gain a little extra spark somewhere along the way. For me, it's usually my main POV characters, the ones I tell the story through. Their voices are crystal clear in my mind, their mannerisms, how they'd say something, how they'd react to something, which one is the most likely to set something on fire <coughMaddycough>, which one is the most likely to punch another character in the face (okay, there might be too many options there, I like my MCs feisty lol). Those side characters though, man, sometimes that supporting cast becomes just as real to me as the main character. But with the kind of stories I write, not every character survives until the end. So what happens when I have to say goodbye to one of them? Even worse, what happens when my coauthors are GIANT MEANIES and make me write the death scene?

Seriously, I'm now two for two coauthors doing this to me and I'm going to get my revenge someday. Meanwhile, those two knuckleheads are laughing at my pain! Rude. Anyways, what happens is my brain sometimes becomes utterly convinced that a real person just died, and not a fictional character and I am ALL THE SAD. I'm talking I was literally in tears yesterday after writing the death scene for a character Casey Moores and I created knowing full well he wouldn't make it to the end of the story. My brain did not care. My brain was like nooooooo not him!! Coping mechanisms that may or may not work include hugs, emergency chocolate, and the beverage of your choice.

That's not to say that we should wrap those 'real' characters in bubble wrap and never let them go. Heck no! Part of the reason they're real to me is because of the story, and their role in it. And if their role, their reason for existing, is to go out like a motherfucking BADASS, then who am I to keep them from their glorious purpose? Loki jokes aside, if you don't allow the character to be true to who they are, then they stop being real and your story suffers for it. That means you have to allow your characters to do what they would do in the situation you created, and sometimes that means they don't survive it. But DAMN, does it make for a great story.

In writing news, obviously I just killed a character, but that means Casey and I are getting close to finishing Forlorn Hope (Blood and Armor 4). I mean, still plenty of words to go, but we're closing in fast. My griffin project is moving along too, because I'm writing two novel at once and I'm either really motivated or insane. Possibly both (damn, I guess my husband was right. . . shhhh, don't tell him). That one crossed 70K this weekend, and I'm really happy with it so far. Nick and I also turned in final edits for our Ashes of Entecea short story to Kacey Ezell for her upcoming anthology, and I'm delighted in how that one turned out. Seriously, Nick has leveled up his fighting scenes, and I'm so happy he agreed to write his Viking Bastard to my Badass Princess. There miiiiiight just be more to come from that story ; )

In other news, Liberycon is fast approaching. Only 6 weeks to go, and the schedules are up! You can check mine out here:

And that's it for this week, folks. So many words to write, so little time!!

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