and I don’t have an answer. At least not for anyone but me…
Ok, I’ll admit it. I live vicariously through the characters in my novels. They have the life I don’t. They have the freedom to live it because nobody is truly “at risk” for trusting or believing or loving. They’re just characters in a story, after all.
And yes, I do get attached to them. I weep when one dies. I hurt when my protag hurts. My stories wouldn’t be worth much if I didn’t. At least not worth much to me. And since they’re not worth **** to anyone else, their worth to me is what matters. So if I live vicariously through them, it’s only because that way I know how to write them – I can see what they see.
I speak figuratively, of course. If I admit to this close of a connection with imaginary people, I’ll end up over medicated in some ward while interns mess with what little sanity I might still possess. I mean that too. Way too many people working in “recovery facilities” who are there to abuse those who can’t defend themselves and who are never believed if they try to report someone.
But that has nothing with my connecting with the characters in my stories. It does have a LOT to do with who I admit that to, and why you’ll never hear me telling my doctor that I am worried about character ‘X’. He’d sign me over in a heartbeat.
I post this because earlier today I wept (privately) when the lead character in my current working novel had a major heart hurt. He wept – I wept. Eh – it makes good reading [that’s my story and I’m sticking to it]
Is this post tongue-in-cheek? Partially, I suppose. It’s mostly serious, but I also am an expert with joking about those things that bother me the most. The only thing I don’t joke about is being raped as a kid. Or any other form of child abuse for that matter … or sexual abuse … but that’s more because the number of people that could be hurt by insensitive joking about something that is so prevalent and causes so much lasting harm.
Of course, that begs the question “what part is serious?” I post because a subject matters to me. I write about “living vicariously” through my fictional characters because to some extent, that connection bothers me. Surely “sane” writers don’t get this involved in their character’s lives. Or maybe “sane” ones do, but “successful” ones don’t. And if THAT is the case, I have no worry cuz I’ll never be a successful novelist. LOL – I’m lucky to get 2 people to actually read [and enjoy] one of my stories.
All this meandering and rambling about just to say that I live vicariously through the lives of my characters. But again, it makes sense when you consider:
1) I really have no life outside my stories
2) My characters get to do and get to be everything I can’t
Eh … maybe it’s not so bad. [maybe it is……]