The other day I read an article about the upcoming fall TV season, which mentioned that an actress on a top-rated show has decided not to return. It was followed by the usual comments. Some were sorry to see her leave, others thought the show would be better off without her. One comment was a bit odd. Among other things, the woman “prayed” for the characters.
The highest compliment you can give any actor, or fiction writer, is to tell them their characters seem real. And the keyword here is, seem. They’re fictitious characters. They’re not actual living, breathing human beings, although they may seem very real in the pages or on the screen. And while prayers for the actors, or the writers, would certainly be appreciated, praying for a fictional character is a bit creepy. It sort of reminds me of Stephen King’s Misery.
Some of my characters; Ian Palmer, Samantha Walsh, Alex Montoya, and Jason and Gillian Matthews, were inspired by real people I’ve known. Meaning I drew on the personalities of real individuals to create the characters, but they’re all fictitious and most certainly not clones of their real-life counterparts. I go to a great deal of trouble to make my characters as three-dimensional as I possibly can, and yes, bad things happen to good people in my books. That’s because plot lines revolve around tension and conflict, followed by a happy ending. I love it when readers and reviewers say they cheered for my good guys, and wanted to smack my bad guys.
I’m glad you love my characters, and I’m always thinking up new ones. You can certainly say a prayer for the real-life people who inspired some of them, but please, not for the characters themselves. They’re not real. Sometimes I wish some of them were, but that’s a post for another day.