Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Monday, January 3, 2011

Who is the REAL writer?

My friend and fellow Dunedin writer, Tania Roxborogh wrote a post recently which inspired me to write this when she made this comment:
"It's not easy. Actually that's a weak comment. It's damn hard being a writer. And I only continue to do it because these characters need their story told and they picked me."
There are certain stories that we writers make up where it is easy to manipulate the story. The form and the characters are malleable and happy to play any part our imagination might wish to give them.

Then there are other stories. Stories like the one I'm writing now and like the one Tania is battling with. Stories where the characters come to you and demand you tell their story.

The characters haunt you and bully you until you agree to write it. They fill your dreams and crowd out coherent thought during your waking hours. And once you have agreed? They argue with you when you get it wrong and nag you when you get tired and want to throw your computer out the window.

But eventually they become real to you, unique friends who've chosen you to enter their world. You begin to care about what happens to them, you want to see them succeed, to see justice done, to see them achieve their happy-ever-after. You find yourself laughing with them when something funny happens and shedding a tear when they grieve or fail.

Of course this sort of carry on causes the world to see as mad - and maybe they're right - but I wouldn't give up this gift for anything!


  1. And, don't you sometimes get sick of them? I'm sick of mine - like family who have overstayed their welcome. I'm avoiding them (standing in the corner of the living room looking at me reproachfully (is that a word) as I immerse myself in books and DVDs and cooking.

    and, ALL the time, I feel guilty.

  2. Yep, they get you by the throat, sometimes!

  3. Yes Tania, I know what you mean. I sent mine away on holiday and have happily ignored them for two months, but they are back. I can hear them tap, tap,tapping insistently at the window now....

  4. I love this post! I have four main characters pacing around in my head, each clamoring for me to tell their story. I'm about 60% finished the first draft of one character's book, but the others need to pipe down and wait their turn so I can write each character's story exactly as it should be written. :)