Word Puppet by Nik Eveleigh is something I can relate to. Writers create characters and then take the job of their God and that of whatever Universe the character inhabits. Even though we control the action, no one can be certain exactly what kind of God is in charge of her/his reality. Does your God care about you? Or are you stricken with a God who has a nifty twist in mind and you are nothing but a means of arriving at it?
Personally speaking, the characters I create are real to me, and although I’m not bonkers to the degree that I don’t know the difference between one of them and my neighbors, I feel a certain responsibility to deal with them fairly–even when bad stuff must happen. This piece gives a fresh look at an age-old dilemma, that if a writer cannot on some level identify with, then, maybe, that person isn’t really a writer.
Q: How closely do you identify with your characters. It seems to me that you invested a lot of yourself in your characters–especially in the Storm Crow stories.
A: Before I dive in with an answer I must of course remember my manners and say thank you Leila both for the rerun selection and the questions. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say there’s a part of me in most of my central characters – my dear friend Stormcrow has more of me in him than I care to admit (titter, titter, tee-hee). Stories tend to come in one of three guises for me – a subject or setting that piques my interest, a character that seems to talk to me or things I write out of my own fears or insecurities. The first two often have versions of me where a trait is taken to the extreme, the last option tends to be closer to the real thing.
Q: Was it difficult to have this one come off as smoothly as it does? I like the circular structure, rounding back to the beginning.
A: It’s been a while but generally once I start something it flows out pretty smoothly – the challenges for me always revolve around the sibling devils of procrastination and time. I often write things where I don’t know the ending but obviously in this case I had a clear agenda to get to – and from memory I seem to recall it meant the words came a little more slowly than other stories but also needed less of an edit afterwards.
I’m glad you enjoyed the structure of it and I noted in your original comments that you approved of the tense – I’ll be sure to pass on the usual fee 🙂