When you’re writing, “do you feel my pain?” If, as the writer, you aren’t feeling the pain that rolls around in your character’s head, how will your reader?
I just finished two truly awesome bestsellers, and I needed tissues from the get go. Then, I found myself laughing out loud. Not cheap laughs, but really deep down belly laughs. It didn’t happen often as these were both heartbreaking stories, but the author was smart enough to give us some relief from the pain with laughter. And in one case, such a satisfying ending that it made all of the previous pain nearly evaporate in an instant.
It isn’t enough to have our characters’ stomachs clenching, burning, roiling in pain. In the novels I read, there was a look that gave away one character’s pain. Just a look! Another gave away a tad of his pain when he started to mention something to a different character. Then stopped. And that was extremely telling.
Are we relying too much on everyday commentaries, or are we digging into the character’s actual personality to give the reader a peek at real pain, real joy.
I think unless we know, truly know what our characters’ personalities are, we can’t very well speak for them.