>> Wednesday, November 25, 2009
You know how many people say talking to yourself is the first sign of senility? Well, I've been doing it since I was four. Others say talking to yourself is okay as long as you don't argue with yourself. Well, shoot, I do that, too. I've often practiced upcoming difficult conversations from both sides ahead of time or, if it went badly, afterward to figure out how I could have handled it better.
Now that I'm older and need to hold a job, I've learned to do my talking to myself mostly inside my head (though I still do the other once in a while. Since my daughter is named Stephanie, too, she's been caught thinking I'm chastising her when I'm really railing at myself.)
However, I've channeled much of that in my writing. I'm a very dialog-heavy writer.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, I had an interesting conversation today with my husband. As I've mentioned, I'm writing a novel. In this case, I'd put off this novel for a long time because I didn't have a handle on the hero of the story. Then I read a manga that involved a character who was almost dead on to my husband in many ways and it sparked a way to write my character, like my husband if he were hundreds of years old instead of desperately young. It's fantasy, bear with me.
One reason it's flowed so well for me is that my heroine (like usual) has many facets I myself have so I identify with her very much. What this has enabled me to do is communicate, via the novel, many of my own rationales that I have so much trouble communicating to my husband directly for some reason. But it also allows me also to explore his viewpoint, his reasons and rationales, without some of the angst and oversensitivity someone still very young and someone with as much baggage as I have bring to the discussion. It's been very therapeutic. Plus, as always with sword and sorcery story, I get to kill people. :)
My husband has been less involved with this one. I wasn't sure why, but I've had a hard time getting him willing to let me read it to him. Today, I found out why. He said he didn't like my main hero, but, when I asked why, he told me it was because the character (Dante) was husband he wanted to be to me, the way he wanted to treat me, the hero he wanted to be for me. Except (he said) he didn't quite pull it off.
That tells me a couple of things. One is that Lee is a keeper. I actually am more fond of Lee than Dante but they're almost interchangable in my mind. I know Lee is growing and has already grown a great deal from when I first met him. That he recognizes where he still wants to improve (and that they jibe with what I see in him) says a great deal about him, all good.
But that also argues that my characterizations are good and strong because his reaction to my heroine matches the way he reacts to me when I don't do what he tells me to (to the letter). And Dante is speaking to him, too.
So, I might be talking to myself, but I'm doing a good job of it.
Lee's mother and friend apparently are really enjoying it, too.