For a fantastic proposition, read ’till the end! 😉
Ana/Elfie touched on something important in the comments the other day. She said, “A personal opinion on the ‘sadistic’ one is that as humans, we’ve all been through pain. Writing is a way to relieve that, look at it from another angle and heal. And I’ve read things that have been painful, but in the end have lifted me and helped me heal, making me a better person.”
They say writing can be a sort of therapy, and I completely agree.
I’ve dealt with depression before off and on since I was about 13. It’s gotten better and I’m fine now, but back then, I didn’t really have anyone to go to right then and there when I needed to talk. Communication with my best friend was limited and the friends I had in the area were/are too innocent to talk to about what I was dealing with.
Writing helped me to deal with all that immensely.
Desensitized, as many of you know, is on hiatus. But I learned so much from writing that trilogy. I was able to channel my fears, anxieties, phobias, and everything else I was feeling into those three books through the characters and they were some of my best cast. They were pretty real to me and my readers loved them as well (at least, they said they did 😛 )!
Here’s a short list of what struggles they dealt with:
Ashland = depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, family.
Cael = leadership, feelings, beliefs.
Kody = drinking, smoking, being serious.
Blade and Core = self-doubt, lack of faith in their friends.
If you can channel your emotions into your writing, you’ll have a more believable cast of characters, and a more realistic story.
Characters are the most important part of any story. If you can get your readers to relate to them, you can get your readers to love them. A plot can be shallow and crummy. A novel can have a gazillion plot holes, but those can be covered up by the characters.
I’m not saying go ahead and have a crummy story with fascinating characters and be done. Do your best. I’m just saying the characters will cover up a bunch of mistakes.
Other people have gone through the same things you have. By inserting your fears, thoughts, and emotions into your characters, your readers will have an easier time relating to them. That’s what you want.
People aren’t as happy as they act, they’re not as carefree as they seem, and they. have. problems. We all have problems. People are broken. You can’t live without getting broken.
And that’s why we read. We read to know that we’re not alone. We read to grow. We read to go on the adventures we otherwise never would have been able to. We read to be princes, princesses, heroes, villains, peasants, lords…
Make a list of all your favorite characters from any show or book. I’m 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% sure that you’ll find something in them that you see in yourself. Whether it be that faked smile, that waning sense of hope, that utter despair, that one fear, that one struggle… it’s there. We like people we can relate to, who deal with the same things we do.
Create characters people will find truth in. Don’t beat around the bush. Just be honest. In a world that crams lies down our throats and shoves impossible expectations at us, be honest. We’re not perfect. We never will be. Show people that being imperfect is okay.
Fantastic proposition: Ciera is a talented, lovely young lady who has achieved so many goals and done so many amazing things that all I can do is sit here and be jealous. 😛 She would like to collaborate with other writers and start a young writers community, which she would like to release this summer! It will be a place to submit and share your work!
For more information, visit her blog, The Write Things.