Characters need flaws. Blind spots. Stubbornness. Room to grow. As writers, we learn to be patient. Our characters need to fail. Their flaws need to get in the way a few times. They need to hurt someone, burn bridges, mess up, feel regret. And once in a while, it’s their flaws that make them heroes. It’s their flaws that make us want to love them more. ...Moms want the opposite, of course. We want everyone to get along, to escape unscathed. We want characters who believe in themselves, achieve their dreams, treat everyone with kindness and respect, without the disappointment…
I married my hunky Italian guy. My friend Julie said “it was a pleasure to see you so overcome with joy.” There are few times in life we are truly overcome by our emotions. In my darkest time, I felt a grief that strong. The best writing I’ve ever read or written has come from a place of being overcome. It’s at the ends of the spectrum we often find what’s true and honest.
Jesse is a character in a book I’ve been working on for the past couple years. Actually, I haven’t been working on it lately; the story is stalled. Jesse is about to go on a life-changing quest. But he’s not ready.
Writers are vulnerable. We open the curtains and offer the world an intimate view. And if we get the lighting just right, anyone peering in will also see themselves in the reflection. Writers aren’t content with simply observing or even living life. We have to dig deeper, figure out why, get to the details then bring it all up a thousand notches to apply across humanity. We catalog the course of events, savor a good line of dialog, squirrel away nuggets of truth, and grow with our characters. It’s painful. Hard work. And necessary. Writers have to write.
Karen’s life experience is intertwined with her roles as a wife, mom, stepmom, writer, publisher, photographer, traveler, and woman of faith. All these elements tend to make their way into her blog posts.
“Writers have to write. It’s something deep inside us that pushes and pushes until we let it out. It’s part of the air we breathe, this need to make sense of the world around us and to somehow find the right words to express and influence the way we each feel and interact and love and live.”—Writing is Risky Business