Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Writing is solitary work...

...except when it isn't.

What a statement of the obvious. I'm sure, my dear readers, you are looking at the statement and saying to yourselves, "Well, duh."

Bear with me while I puzzle out this thought.

My life is anything but solitary with my husband, three kids, and extended family. I am literally with other people 23.5 hours a day. My .5 hour of alone time comes from a shower and bathroom breaks. No, I'm not joking. I write when my kids are asleep, and occassionally before my husband goes to work. The rest of my day is spent in the wonderful pursuit of raising (and homeschooling) my kids.

Writing was more of a hobby than a career choice up until a few years ago. I decided to get serious around the time my second son was born. As an infant he would only nap in the car. If you have children, you know how important naps are. So we would take a daily drive. My then two year old would crash as well, leaving me with a blissfully silent car. I used the time wisely and plotted out stories, talked to characters, etc. During those drives I spent a lot of time with my characters.

That's when I realized how very social writing actually is. You may not work with real people all that often, but your imaginary people should feel real. There are some days when my characters crowd in to the day to day activities of my life, and it actually does feel like we have company.

When I do sit down to work all the time I have spent with my characters pays off and the story flows a little easier for the time being.

Do your characters speak to you?

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