Imaginary Friends

I have lots of friends, both real and imaginary.

Not sure about other writers but I have to make friends with my characters before I can work with them.

I think about their personality, their backstory, their physical appearance, their values and attitudes; only then can we decide together what they should be called.

I was naïve when I wrote my first novel and didn’t think peripheral characters deserved such depth.  I created a character who was only in one scene and therefore plucked a name out of the air.  He had other ideas and I’m subsequently stuck with someone who has a name that doesn’t suit him.  Although he’s been very nice about it but then he’s that sort of chap.

I recently met a character whom I immediately disliked.  My animosity rubbed off on her and we were unable to build a relationship; in short I couldn’t write her story.  I had to start again.  She only became multi-dimensional once I grasped what made her tick.  We’re now friends and I’m able to sensitively record her part in the plot.  Whilst I don’t always agree with her, I understand her motives.

There probably isn’t an author alive who hasn’t been asked by at least one friend:

‘Am I in your story?’

Well no actually you’re not, because my imaginary friends populate my writing world so why would they want you cluttering up their story?

Of course I don’t say that; I smile noncommittally and leave them wondering …

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About jhbooksblog

Hello - I'm Julie Haiselden, an occasional NHS med sec/practice administrator. Mother of three, wife of one, a chaotic cook and published crime/thriller novelist who blogs a bit about books, life and food. School alumna. Occasional am-dram actress/director. I enjoy walking and photography (although my enthusiasm outweighs my skill set). I've recently joined the reviewing team at Whispering Stories and can be found via the following social media sites: http://whisperingstories.com/meet-the-team/ https://twitter.com/juliehaiselden https://www.facebook.com/juliehaiseldenbooks https://www.goodreads.com/ I also accept a few hard copy novels to review.
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2 Responses to Imaginary Friends

  1. rileyjfroud says:

    I’m the opposite. I like to get to know them along the way, let them take me on their journey as though I were just some innocent bystander! I don’t think I’d have the patience to become friends with all my characters before I started writing hehe!

    Great blog post though, a great insight into how you work.

  2. Very insightful read thanks for sharing

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