Saturday, February 22, 2014

Do you become emotionally attached to the characters in the stories you read and/or write?

   A number of children, while growing up, develop imaginary friends. My imaginary friends were in the books I read, but to me they were real people. I would fantasize being in the adventure with them and doing my part. I would laugh when they laughed and cry when they cried. I remember having nightmares every time we would just barely make it out of a situation alive. In my nightmare, we would both die.
   I no longer need imaginary friends but I still become emotionally attached to characters, both in the stories I have fallen in love with and in the stories I have written. I have never seen myself as a leading man so I usually identify with one of the supporting characters. Over the years, several authors have killed off the supporting character halfway through the story. When that happens, I lose interest and rarely finish the book. When I was young, occasionally I would write the rest of the story keeping the character alive.
   As you can probably tell, the stories I like to read and/or write are all character driven. Sometimes this makes it difficult for me as a writer because I will start to tear up at an emotional scene and can't continue. I will have to step away for awhile before I can come back and finish the scene.
   I have always been a fairly un-emotional person who rarely laughs or cries. It's not that the emotion isn't there, it's uncomfortable for me to display emotion in front of others. Books give me a safe outlet for my emotions.
   I sometimes wonder if I am alone in this or are there others who have to live their lives in a similar fashion?
   Thanks for reading!

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