Bad Things My Characters Have Done to Me (April Theme) by Kristin Levine

The theme this month is the bad things we've done to our characters.  I don't feel like I've done anything bad to them.  They've done bad thing to ME!  Here are five examples.  My characters have:

1. Kept me up at night, worrying about them and how I was going to (somewhat realistically) get them out of the messes they'd gotten themselves into.

2. Caused me to drink coffee at 4 PM, which yes, allows me to get more work done, but also leads to sleepless nights (see #1).

3. Changed their names on me two or three times, to the extent that sometimes when I'm at a school visit and a student asks about "Bob" I have trouble remembering who that is, because I still think of him as "Henry."

4. Gotten me lots of strange looks at the coffee shop, when I'm working on a section of dialogue and I accidentally start talking to myself to get a feel for a character's voice.

5. Kept secrets from me, such as when the main character in Lions of Little Rock did not reveal to me that she had trouble talking until I had already written the entire first draft.

I guess in some ways, I really do think of my characters as people separate from me.  They might make me worry, embarrass me and cause me extra work, but gosh, I really do love them too.


  1. Haha! really cool, loved it :)characters can be quite hard to contain but we writers just never learn our lesson, we can't stop dealing with those dangerous guys, totally worth it though haha.


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