SOOO after getting back from Venice, I started thinking about my story. How I'd been 'done' editing. Ha. Haha. Ha. HA.
That's okay though, because honestly I think I die a little everytime I actually finish something. And yeah, it's not ready to be read by anyone with less of a bias than my mother. Seriously, I contemplated sending it over to my extended-family for like five seconds before I realized I'M NOT READY!
I started thinking (last night!) about characters, and how they are oh-so mysterious. (Does anyone else think purple is the most mysterious-est color?) What I mean by mysterious is that no two characters ever appear the same way.
Do you know what I mean?
(non-authors, look away before you decide I belong in a white padded room. Please. I like my pretty pink walls.)
*INTERRUPTED THOUGHT, AUTHORS: OMG WHY DOES SKYPE THINK I WANT A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE FROM RUSSIA!? And what do you MEAN all western European and American girls are too 'stuck up?!?!' DARN YOU SKYPE!*
How do your characters appear to you? Do they appear fully formed, as alive as you or me when you first write about them, and you get to discover everything about them as you write? Most of the time, my villians are this way, maybe that's why I like them so much. Like the first time I wrote about my evil general, I was like, "Okay, I know your hands never shake and you like brandy, and that's ALL I know about you, but man, you are there. Like, you exist. Who are you, buddy?"
(Side note: one time one of my characters was being really stubborn about not telling me who he was, until I threatened to make him gay (all I knew was that he was a straight character) and he finally told me about himself. Turns out, the character didn't actually exist, at least, not in the context I thought he did. I felt like Marilla making Anne lie about what happened to her amythest brooch, but instead of 'no picnic,' I used sparkles.)
Another way my characters randomly appear is as a shadow. As in, the whole shape and silhouette is there, but none of the colors or details. I usually have a little more control over these characters. Like, I can't change their basic makeup, but if they have a mortal fear, I can usually decide what it is, or I can shape their motivations.
Sometimes I just make up characters *GASP, I know, no way!* and that can be fun too. Never main characters, never bad guys. I like these characters, and I start them, but then they usually come to life, growl at me, and take their makeup into their own hands, so I don't really 'own' them either. (Does this happen to you?)
There's one other way characters appear to me though, and that, author friends, may happen to you as well. It's almost like 'stealing a character' but it isn't. These are the characters that hop out of that book I read and take on new life, or the characters I've never thought of who whisper in my ear, "See that thief in the movie you're watching? Well, I'm like that thief... only I happen to also have magical powers. Oh, and I kick butt." Sometimes, characters pop out of old characters I've written, too, and that's just weird, especially at reunions.
(Yes, I have reunions with my characters. I'm psychotic. But authors... you understand, right? You're such a sweet, genuinely awesome group of people, you don't judge, right? In fact, I'm willing to be most of you are as weird as me - or weirder. :D)
So tell me, how do your characters appear? To they come to you in full body and fury, or do they appear...
out of the shadows?
(P.S. I'm changing my URL thing tomorrow, so it like, you know, includes my name. Nifty. Oh, and I finished reading Phantom of the Opera. Great story, but the style it was written in wasn't my personal favorite. And I'm not going to read Ysabel just yet, I don't think my heart can take the emotion. SO I'm reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Dead Zone by Stephen King. Why yes, the two ARE related! :P)