The MidLifeBloggers Writers Workshop starts today and while only those who are registered can participate in the Workshop, I thought a good send-off would be this post by a friend of mine whose first novel was published in the early summer. Marci Nault is a master of description, of making her scenes and characters come to life. When I read this post about how real her characters are to her, I could see why she was able to make them so real for me as well. One of the best teaching tools for writers is to read something really really good and then work to figure out “how did the author do that?”
by Marci Nault of 101 Dreams Come True
The first time I met Victoria Rose, one of my main characters in The Lake House, she was wearing an old crocheted sweater as she waltzed around her sunroom. In my mind, I stood in the doorway that led to the kitchen as I watched her. Three lit candles illuminated the dark room and I knew each flame represented a woman Victoria had lost. In the reflection of the window, I could see a large portrait of a beautiful young woman above the fireplace and I saw Victoria stop and caress the frame.
I wanted to reach out and touch this woman, ease her pain, but I knew one soft gesture would crumble all the walls she’d built to remain strong.
The vision left me, but I knew that Victoria Rose would take me on a ride and as the writer of her story, I felt an intense responsibility.
She woke me at three in the morning as her life unfolded and over the years of getting to know this woman I experienced her strength, grace, incredible sense of humor, vivacious love of life, and her ache for the man she’d walked away from at a very young age.
As a writer, I can’t explain this phenomenon. I know that characters are my imagination, but the moment they come to me, it’s like they’re real and they let me live their lives through words.
As a debut novelist, it’s hard when your book is finally going to hit the shelves not to get caught up in sales, marketing, and publicity. It’s actually quite terrifying, exhilarating, and you feel a little like Cinderella at the ball. But when it comes down to why I write, it’s the love of my characters, of being able to touch their lives and experience their emotions. I get to fall in love, know heartache, laugh, and cry.
For this, I’m incredibly grateful to be an author. I hope you enjoy The Lake House, Victoria’s story, as much as I loved writing it.