Loving your characters too much?

July 22, 2007 5:16am CST
I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem. You're writing a story, and you're getting close to the end. Suddenly you realize that as soon as you finish your novel or script, you will part with all these people that you have grown to love like your own family. Maybe you even will kill some of them in the story, and never be able to meet them again. Have you had this problem? How did you deal with it? Do you have any particular stories that you didn't want to finish, just because you didn't want to part with the characters?
4 people like this
6 responses
• United States
22 Jul 07
Yes, this happens to me. Sometimes, I think it's because there's more to the story, maybe more needs to be flushed out about the characters earlier in the story. Or, perhaps, they need their own story. And sometimes, it is because there is such an emotional attachment/investment in the characters that it is hard to say good-by. I think what is needed then, is to sometimes step back, get some space and perspective, mull it over, just experience the characters and their situation, their story, because in the end it is their story, not ours, and it is our job as writers to respect that. Once you understand what their story is, and respect that, you can let go in a way that honors and respects the story on its own, as something that now has its own life seperate from yours even though you have put a lot of yourself, your energy, into it.
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Jul 07
Ah yes, I have this problem. In fact this problem is probably the thing that has kept me from pursuing writing as a real career. =p When I was young, there was one particular character that I created for a story I was writing for a contest. I finsished the story, won the contest, and the character still just wouldn't get out of my head. So I wrote him in another story, in a very different setting, with a very different background, but still the same character. Still he wouldn't get out of my head. In fact, every single time I go to write a story, this character appears somewhere in it, at least as a minor player. There have been a few times when attachement to a character has actually caused me to finish a story though, because I felt it would be a personal betrayal to the character not to do so. So I guess it's a double-edged sword actually.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jul 07
I never love my characters too much. I love to kill my characters. I am not one of those female writers who gets all lovey-dovey and then I cannot kill anyone, no. I want my characters to live in an action-packed world where someone always gets hurt at the end. Yes, there is some romance from time-to-time, but I would rather my characters go through Hell and see if they come out of it the same way they walked into it.
@cripfemme (7698)
• United States
23 Jul 07
I've had a collection of stories in my head for about two years now. But every time I sit down to write it; I change my mind I'm so attached to my characters.
@suspenseful (40193)
• Canada
23 Jul 07
I usually plan the next sequel so that favorite character does not get killed. If there is an innocent character who does die, I make sure that somehow he or she is remembered, or the one who caused them to meet their demise, meet their end. I have some unfinished stories but that is because I am busy with this novel I am on, and well they were just practice. As for parting with the characters, I feel that what problem they have had has been resolved, they are with their family, they brought the criminal to justice and maybe in the future, they will be called again unless they die of old age.
@secretbear (19448)
• Philippines
24 Jul 07
u-huh. this has happened to me before when I was so much of a fanatic of sailormoon. ^__^;; I wrote several fanfics and the last one is actually unfinished. there was one story that I didn't want to finish coz I don't want the story to end but I had to end it and ended it anyway. so what I did was made a part 2 and there I made some new characters which I really liked but I had to kill some of them. its sad but thats how the story should be. I just said to myself that their deaths contributed to the beauty of the story and the story wouldn't be whole if not for them. ^__^