Place as character

Today was cool: I got to see (and hear ;) my dear friend, Catherine Knutsson participate in a panel with several other published YA authors. I was so, so proud of her and so glad I got to spend time with her.

It’s always interesting to hear published authors give their opinions on the market, or tell their techniques, or just share stories of their writing and publishing lives. One takeaway was that place is (or should be) a character in its own right. I agree. And I’d forgotten about this.

Certainly my place, my world is distinct and is (hopefully) becoming more so with each page I write, but is it a character in its own right yet? I’m not sure. I think it’s close to being one, but it’s not quite alive yet. But maybe that’s a good thing: after all, in my character’s time, the world as she knows it is beginning to fall apart, so maybe a place that feels somewhat hollow and not quite alive (anymore) is exactly right for my story.  We’ll see. It definitely gives me more to think about.

Not like I need more. With the realization of my missing plot piece, I feel like my book has gotten 30x more complicated, and the idea of trying to weave the inner and outer threads together terrifies me. Will I be able to pull it off? Hmmm…. Let’s not talk about it.

On another note, one of the questions that was asked of another of the panels was, how much of your book is based on real-life experiences? The responses varied from none to a ton, but what they mostly agreed on is that they’ve mined their emotions for their books, if nothing else.

I try to remember that, when I’m sad, or missing someone, or confused (or all of the above): that even if things don’t work out the way I hope they will, perhaps the one good thing is that I’ll be able to store these sadnesses away and give them to my characters down the line so that they will have a depth and resonance that they might not otherwise have. Until then, I will  hope madly for a happy resolution and that I won’t have any more sadness to share with my characters.

Now. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go finish my slice of caramel apple spice cake. Good night, all!

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About thewritingblues

I'm a writer working on a YA dystopian novel and blogging on my progress - or lack thereof - and other cool writing stuff.
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