Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Relationship Maintenance

One of my friends from college moved up to Seattle "for a couple years" and 6 years later, she's still there. We talk every so often and try to get together whenever she's in town (because she's got tons of family here), but she got me thinking. Though she's not a day-to-day part of my life, I really value her friendship, more so than some of the people who are in my life day-in and day-out.

Our friendship is low maintenance: we don't have to talk/text/see each other every day or even every other day, yet whenever we get together or chat on the phone, it's like picking up exactly where we left off last time, plus a quick recap of all that's gone on since the last time we talked. Around when I need her, and I'm there for her whenever, but we both recognize we have our own lives. It's great.

Now, if only my characters were that way. My relationship with my characters are far more high maintenance then I'd like them to be, especially during a first draft-which is where nearly all my wips are right now.

How much maintenance are the relationships you have with your characters? And how do you handle it?


Christine Fonseca said...

I love this post! I am obsessive with my characters and storyline initially - actually, I am that way until the storyline is polish. Writing is an all-consuming thing for me.

Mandy said...

Umm... sitting here with my mouth hanging slack. GOOD question!!! I think I have high maintenance relationships with some characters, while others are like your friend from Seattle! It depends on how much we have in common and how much I personally want to invest in that relationship. I think that a reader can tell which characters you love because the reader tends to love them too.

Great post, Windy! That really got me thinking! ;)

Pam Harris said...

Great question! I agree with Mandy. I think we spend more time adding depths to our favorite characters, and since they become so layered, readers tend to like them, as well. However, I also learn to distance myself from my characters a bit because I eventually have to do bad things to do them. If my guilt gets in the way, the story might not be as good!

Angie said...

Great question. With a short story, they aren't too high maintenance. Novels are a different story, though. But I love my characters. What can I say?

Nichole Giles said...

My characters are totally high maintenance. Or, at least, for one WIP in particular. I find myself so mired in their needs that I forget some of my own. Like, you know, eating and stuff. *shrugs* whatdayado?

The good news is that once you resolve their issues, they leave you alone for a while. At least, mine do.

Good luck. Oh,and congratulations on finding a valuable, true friend. They're hard to come by.