Last week I was served papers.
I don’t know why, but this feels like the last big bump with this individual. Like, if I can make it through this, if I can be dignified, honest, and do my best to protect myself and my family, this will be gone for good.
Of course, life always has ‘things’ in it, right?
‘Things’ that make us stretch and hurt and worry and laugh and rejoice and wish and pray and talk to our friends and write blog pieces.
We’re different after each battle, after each joyous occasion.
Just like our characters should be.
Once I got a book on someone’s recommendation. I remember the title but I won’t tell you. There was a lot of buzz from the publisher. The writer was gonna go places. Make tons of money. I have to admit I was both excited and jealous. So I opened the book and read. To my disappointment the feisty main character never changed. She started out a smartie-pants who wanted something, got this something, and was neither better nor worse for it. She never struggled. Never failed. Never really won or lost.
The deal is, by the end of the book our characters must change.
They cannot be the same at the end of the novel as they were in the beginning. They have to have ‘papers served ‘ to them. They have to have hard times-even if this is a funny book. There have to be obstacles that the character has to get over, on her own. As we read and watch a character stumble, get back up, try again, grow, change, become more exciting, we root for them, weep with them, love them.
What I find really cool as a writer is that I change, too, as I work on my books.
When I start a new work, I am one person. By the end of the novel, if I’ve done my job as a writer, I see the world a little differently. I’m more compassionate. Want better things for my friends and for those I read about in the news or see on Facebook that I only know there. I’ve learned things about people and places and events. A topic I may have felt fiercely about–I see it differently. Maybe more fully? It’s an exciting to see I am what? better? more human? because of my work.
Writers can change bits of the world.
We start with our characters, move to ourselves and hopefully touch our readers.
A deep breath, now, as I step into a scary part of my life.
I’ve got a few obstacles to overcome.
Let’s see what happens.