Monday, November 12, 2007

My Characters are NOT Children to me (Though my children are characters...)

Every now and then I'll come across an author interview where the author swears that his fictional characters are just like children to him.

And I wonder... does this guy actually HAVE kids?

Because I can write my characters however I want. I control their thoughts, feelings and actions. I can change their names at will. If they annoy me, I can delete them, or at least leave them to languish in my "abandoned projects" file... perhaps forever. I don't love them... They're my creations, put in their story to amuse me, to do my bidding, and perhaps to earn me money some day.

My children defy any attempts to change who they are. (Not that I try--it would be useless since they apparently think they get to be unique human beings complete with their own souls.) I can change specific behaviors, but only with a lot of work. I love my children. Most of the time I enjoy being around them... but even when I don't enjoy them, I still have to pay attention to them and take care of them. (Heck, That's really what love IS--caring for the other person when it isn't fun, easy, or convenient.) They amuse me sometimes, obey me sometimes, and occasionally earn money.. ("Look Mom! A Quarter! Over there in traffic!!! Go get it Mom!!!!")--but that's not their reason for being.....

So... do authors who say their characters are like children not have kids? Or do they treat their characters better than I treat mine? Or are they just REALLY scary, controlling abusive parents with absolute say over who their children become?

Personally, I'm glad my characters aren't like children to me-- If they were, it would be a lot harder to hit "Save" so that I could go pay attention to my ACTUAL children...

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