Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Of Cats and Characters

Four cats need a lot of attention. But more importantly, they need to right kind of attention. They've each got unique characters and distinct desires.

Minnie doesn't like to be hugged, but is ecstatic for five minutes of throwing a paper ball over the bed for her to catch. Cleo wants nothing more than the chance to use parts of our anatomy as a human pincushion, kneading us with her enormous kitten-paws. Chrissy, we're just discovering, wants conversation even more than strokes. We're thinking of re-naming her Squeaker. Pippi's world begins and ends with the chance to sit on my lap and stare into my eyes while I'm... on the loo.

(It's a very long story.)

I've always been preoccupied by what makes characters unique and real. How do they know they're in love? Why do they fall for that one other person?

What kind of attention do they need?

Jenny needed to be let inside Kier's mind, to participate in making decisions, making plans. Kier came into his own under the influence of Jenny's belief. Tristan needs to have permission to let go of someone he can save, and let them risk their own life on their own terms. Emily needs to be loved, in spite of - and accepting - her fears.

I've been thinking about this post for a few days, and, frankly, I needed the thinking time for some of those characters. It's been a good exercise.

What sort of attention is good attention for your current characters?

2 Comments:

At 8:26 pm, Blogger Julie said...

You know, I never commented on this post, but your question made me sit right down and write out why my characters fall in love with each other.

Thanks, babe.

 
At 9:00 pm, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Excellent! *dancing round room* I have a bit of an issue with this one, I do think too many writers never really think about it. Or, when asked why the H falls for the h, reply, "because she's really hot."

*beats head on desk*

 

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