When Life Parallels Your Character's Life

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

     I finished a novel the other day that I've been working on for over five years. Three years ago I thought I was done but it was awful, truly awful. Thanks to an agent who took the time to critique it, I was able to do a rewrite and fix the problems. I believe in this story or I would have just pitched it. Now, it's ready and I'm hopeful that this time will be the charm.
     The characters are friends, like distant relatives but more because I know them intimately. And strangely, my life has paralleled events written into my character's life. You'd think it would be the other way around but no, not in this case.
     In the novel, a life was put on hold for fifty years while my main character searched for his long lost brother. My character believed that all would be well once his little brother was found. Until then, everything else in his life, his marriage and his son, was pushed aside.  
     I realized about three quarters of the way through the final rewrite that in real life, I was doing the same thing as my main character, putting my life on hold, house work, yard work, cleaning out overstuffed closets and cupboards, until the manuscript was finished. I believed that all would straighten out once the novel was done.
     But, as we writer's know, finishing a manuscript is not the end of the work. Up ahead will come more rewrites as an editor has their say. The writing won't really be done until the book rolls off the presses ready for market. And then the real work begins, the promoting, the marketing, the selling.
     Perhaps I should revise the beginning of this post to say that I finished my novel enough to put into a book proposal package, enough to present to an agent or editor. Regardless, I feel a tremendous sense of relief and joy to have completed the story arc, the plot points and sequence, the character development and the tearful conclusion in a way that pleases my critique partners and pleases me.
     Have you seen yourself in your characters in surprising ways? If so, please share.





   

   
   

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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