My process and my characters

As I wrote Girl With a Knife something strange happened to me, which is that my characters came truly alive to me.

Hopefully this is because I have become a good writer and my characters developed truly dynamic personalities as the book progressed. I guess readers will decide that; however, something that flowed out of this is that felt different. I could feel the pain of the good characters when they experienced pain. Let me explain here…

Some of my characters are complex persons, just like all of us are. And some of the other characters are more metaphorical, either good or for evil.

For a story to have any spice or to be of interest to a reader, it can hardly be like that Pleasantville movie where everything is perfect but fake. For a story to be interesting, bad things, as well as good things, have to happen.

But when bad things happen to my good characters it really hurts.

I don’t want to give the plot away, but there are a number of times in my books where some truly awful things happen to some of my sweetest and most wonderful characters. When this happens, I found myself getting truly upset – like watching something terrible happen to a loved one.

Indeed, there is one chapter that is so truly awful I found myself crying after writing it and could hardly even reread it for editing purposes.

What to make of all this, I don’t really know. I am just telling you about my process and experience and wondering if this happens to other writers as well.