Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Glory of Stubborn Characters

Salva, I have decided, is as stubborn as Aurelia, in his own way. This is, of course, rather inconvenient at times.

But it is also, I think, imperative.

You see stubborn characters defy logic.

“So what if 99.8% of the manuscripts authors submit never get published,” they say. “This is not going to happen with mine!” And “Who cares what that reviewer thinks? If I was really one-dimensional, would I have given you such a hard time figuring out why I was refusing to do what you asked me to do?” And “Honestly, the toxic skeptics are wrong! This is my story. I’m telling you it’s important.”

Thank goodness for stubborn characters. If it weren’t for them, how would one manage? How would authors ever find the time to sit down and write?

When there are so many more pressing tasks—like grading papers or mowing the lawn or washing dishes.

If it weren’t for our characters’ demands, would we ever agonize our way through synopsis and outlines--not to mention query and cover letters?

Would we ever dare to tell the truth? Or something new? Or something that appears to be familiar, but isn’t at all because our characters have wreaked havoc on the stereotype?

How would authors ever live out their dreams?

If they didn’t have someone insisting, “Wake up! It’s time! It’s my day! If you dare roll over and close your eyes, I’ll clobber you with a scene involving three hundred versions of the same pronoun.”

“All right, all right!” you say. “I’m up. And I’ll tell your story.”

1 comment:

  1. So very true.

    And I always get even more eager to meet Salva and Beth whenever you mention them:)