As many of you already know, I very rarely read or write fiction. I really don’t have anything against fiction, and in fact I love Tolkein’s Hobbit stories, but I have always been a detail oriented person, plus I “need” to understand things! The end result is that my readings are usually autobiographical, technical or educational in some other way.
My own writings have, not surprisingly, tended to follow the same pattern however, I did “dip my toes” into the pool of fiction when I wrote “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” Not only did I want to cover the story of me and Ray as an autobiographical work, but I also wanted to adopt what could well be his perspective on the various incidents in our early days together! Of course Ray does establish his own very real personality, and there is a lot of research available on dogs, so while I tell Ray’s side of things… there is some degree of a basis to work from.
More recently, I entered into Carolyn Shelton’s fictional world in which her stories are based around four main characters, and those characters are total fiction!
What has surprised me with Carolyn’s characters is how easy I can fall into their different personalities. How easy I can start feeling the character’s rejection, dejection, elation and confusion etc. (you fictional writers are probably all nodding your heads and thinking… “Yup! He’s hooked!”).
I have also been surprised at how the characters develop the more I write about them and, while acknowledging that development of characters is very important, these particular individuals seem to develop themselves as stories progress.
Carolyn just recently started Posting one of my stories (link below) and while I wrote it, and reviewed it numerous times before sending it to her, I was reading Part 2 this morning and smiling at Odessa (she is a Barn Owl). I know the whole story “inside out”, and yet I can react emotionally upon reading it once again! I am not too sure how I should interpret that! Am I in danger of being taken over by four fictitious characters?
I am not too concerned, because they are all distinctly different and, short of developing multiple personalities based from them, I don’t think that I need counseling just yet… do I?