Thursday, October 31, 2013


How has writing your main character changed you as a person?

I’d like to think that writing about my protagonist (any of my protagonists) has made me into a sharper, more self-actualized, wittier, more thought-provoking, more handsome person.

I’d like to think that, but I can’t.

I’m the same semi-schlubby person who wears sweats when he writes. Who occasionally spills food on his shirt. Who sometimes forgets a word that he used JUST YESTERDAY which bugs the crap out of him. Still the same guy who roots for the Washington Professional Football Team no matter how poorly the team plays.

Now what has changed, due to my writing, is my writing. The more I write, the better I get (at least I think so). I came to writing fiction relatively late in life, as compared to many of my contemporaries, so I’ve had to learn a lot in a short amount of time. And I’m still learning (I’m a little weak on grammar; I don’t know a dangling participle from a flying Wallenda.).

With each scene I write, with each draft and second draft and eighth draft, I feel more comfortable creating new worlds and characters. More comfortable with plots and descriptions and dialogue and settings. More comfortable using the strike-through feature. More in control of my story.

More like a real writer.

(This entry is “simul-posted” on Criminal Minds.)



Patricia Stoltey said...

I hope I'm getting better the more I write, too...and the more I revise. I have to try hard not to let my characters influence my behavior, though. Some of them use bad language and kill people.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That's the best part--when they help us become better writers! I'm with Pat, though--I could learn bad habits from some of mine. :)