Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!

Fairies, Fantasy and Faith has been live for one year! I wasn't sure how I would like blogging, but wanted to try, and it's been great. Thanks, everyone, for taking part in the discussions! I hope you continue to stay with me.

We've been talking about developing characters. Part of character development is drawing from our own experiences and emotions. That can be hard, especially if the emotions and memories are painful. But it brings your character to life.

When I was working on Krezma, the old woman who raised my main character, Akeela, I drew on my own feelings of raising a special needs child. Akeela does not have special needs, but Krezma was forced to take her and raise her. She was in the process of trying to get back to her own daughter and was given the responsibility of a newborn baby girl. Krezma feels resentful - and feels guilty for feeling that way. She's grown to love Akeela, but she's sharp tongued and just plain mean with her. Krezma wants to do the right thing, but she also wants to get back to her plans.

I have times of resentment, too. Raising a special needs child is hard. Anna has autism and seizures. She's severly mentally retarded - at age 19, she still functions at about 18 months with some scattered older skills. I'm tired. I'm stressed. I worry all the time. But I love her and do the best I can for her. I don't treat her like Krezma treats Akeela, but I did draw on some of the emotions I have to create Krezma's character.

I've also had to revisit some old pain to bring life to Akeela. She was okay, but not as interesting or three dimensional as Tzmet (the witch.) I needed to bring Akeela up to Tzmet's strong character. It was hard to relive the feelings I had with the memories, but Akeela is vibrant and alive now. Totally worth the pain.

How do you handle the hard, painful emotions sometimes needed to create characters who are truly alive?


  1. Happy anniversary to us bloggers at FFF!! (We really have to think of something else to abbreviate it to :P)

    I created a character that was just like me for my first story. As it went on, though, I realized she was really hollow; emotionless. In order to give her emotion I had to dig into myself and figure out why I had made her that way and whether we shared the same issues. Not fun :P But she's much better now, and becoming her own person.

    And I do plan to stick with this blog for a longo time :) I've learned so much! Thank you!

  2. Hi Pam, I checked out your blog after reading your TWV2 email. Currently, write only non-fiction, but have been toying with the idea of writing short stories mainly for the reasons you mentioned above - to draw from all characters around me and perhaps find some inner healing from fictionalizing some of my childhood bullys. Thanks for your thoughtful post. I think I shall visit often so I can get some glimpes into the world of fiction writing... :-) VERY COOL HEADER by the way...

  3. hi Debbie - welcome and yes, please do visit often. I'll let my friend, Kim, know you like the header. She's an amazing artist and I enjoy working with her on children's books.

    Danielle - I couldn't do without you! xo