Monday, August 24, 2009

A Room With A View....

Happy Monday! I wanted to start by congratulating my fellow HEA bloggers. There have been some awesome room blogs over the past few weeks. Brava ladies!

So, the room I chose to chat about today is one we take with us everywhere. This room can be a place of comfort and peace or it can be a place where we relive our worst nightmares, repeatedly. As an individual, I find my space is very private. As a woman, there are times I find it to be a swirling pit of emotions where copious amounts of chocolate are needed to lull it into submission. However, in all honesty, there are times when even I think the room needs a strong bolt and a warning sign telling passersby to steer clear. ~grin~

This got me thinking about my characters. Do they sometimes wish for a no trespassing sign to keep me from bursting into their lives and rummaging around upstairs looking for fear and conflict to grace the pages of my book? Do they cringe when I pull out their deep, dark secrets and present them for others reading pleasure? Do I leave that tempestuous room a barren and desolate place? Or perhaps, I change it for the better? You know knock down a few walls; let in the light, brighten the place up, as it were? Or maybe I stayed up too late while writing this and am over thinking this whole thing?

I don’t think so. Nope, I don’t think so.

These characters trust us to be gentle. They trust us not to pillage their minds then run with our ill-gotten gains. They trust us to always make things right.
Or as right as we can.

I have to wonder though, does my intrusion ultimately help the damsel in distress, fearful for her life and/or dignity, locked in the pirate’s cabin waiting for the dread sea stalker to arrive. Could I be doing lasting damage to the hero by locking him up, holding him against his will only to torture him with the threat of harm befalling his woman?


As a writer, I try my best to fix what’s broken. To leave my characters with their happy ever after and then some, but as their creator it sometimes bothers me to rifle through their secrets, their pain, their private rooms looking for a story.

Am I the only one who feels like this?

Here’s a snippet of what I found in Mari’s head when she wasn’t looking…

Had she’d known this man would be dangerous to her well-being, she might have waited for the next alpha to cross her path. To love him would be easy, though the broken heart could kill her.
Marina took one last look at the man who had changed her world before leaving the haven they’d created inside the gazebo. She would regret this decision for years to come. Unfortunately, she had no choice. Half-breeds never had a choice. They were not welcomed by full-bloods, nor were they allowed in any pride. He’d accepted her as a full-blood only because she’d hidden her scent.
She was several miles down the road, clothes on, in the car they’d brought from the casino, when she heard the pained cry of a cat. Agony, too great to be hers alone, tore at her chest. Tears ran down her face as she wished the cry was for her.

~Note - she did eventually forgive me for the intrusion...

Have a great week everyone!


Bekki Lynn said...

I love all the various rooms we've all brought to the table. It's thought provoking.

I love the delving into the characters mind, intruding where they might not want us to go. However, to do so brings such life to the stories.

Thanks for posting about this. It's wonderful.

Serena Shay said...

Thanks Bekki! It definitely brings life to the stories, makes them worth reading. :)

I'm a happy endings girl and a smidge on the impatient side ~grin~

If my delving uncovers bad stuff I want the good stuff right then and there too...not that I'll write it that way, hehe but it does make the intusion seem not as bad...

LOL it's probably a good thing I write romance, huh. ;)

Have a great day!

Bekki Lynn said...

It'd be no fun to write lively characters if you don't know the good and bad.

The power we have is to know what to share and what to hold as secrets between author and character.

Do we need straight jackets or what? lol

Serena Shay said...

We do have the power, Bekki, Woot...and yes straight jackets may definitely be in order...LOL

Lindsay Townsend said...

Wonderful blog, Serena! I know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable about delving into characters but it is one of the wonders of fiction that we do so. Look at your own marvellous excerpt that reveals so much of what your heroine is feeling and allows us to identify with her totally - I was cheering her on and wishing her her own HEA by the end of the section!

Serena Shay said...

:) Thanks Lindsay! It is a wonder of this fiction. Marina and I slogged through so much of her emotions in writing The Challenge, but by the end we both agreed it was worth it. I was go glad to hear that from her...

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, wonderful, Serena. You always make me think in new ways, or expand on things I have thought about.
I guess, I just assumed my characters wanted their 'real' stories told, warts and all... though, with compassion and dignity.
My heart was hurting for Marina. The saving grace is knowing she does get her HEA.
Like you said, I think it's also knowing there is a happy ending that allows the story to unfold for me, too.

Serena Shay said...

Thanks Savanna! Oooh, I'm so glad you and everyone enjoyed my take on rooms...I worried a bit that it had taken on some long winded run on sentence quality...LOL

You're right...a HEA is essential for me as well. I have a really hard time reading or watching a story that is bound to have a non-HEA ending. Oh, I'll finish it, but in the end I will feel really unsettled and down.

hehe...Marina was darn happy with her HEA, so she tells me quite often still! ;)

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Serena, I absolutely love this post! No, you're not the only person who thinks like that, not at all. :) We go so deep with our characters, don't we? And I know what you mean, are we intruding? But as you say, there's a huge element of trust involved, and you clearly have an enormous amount of respect for your characters - you'll reveal just so much, but there's a line you know not to cross, and I really love that.

Some people are able to go and re-visit their characters in later stories, but I can't. It feels like having exposed so much one time, now I should leave them alone to get on with their lives. But I feel so grateful that they shared some time with me!

What a completely brilliant article, Serena! This is one I'm going to think about over and over. Loved it. :)

Jane x

Serena Shay said...

~Huge smile!!~ Thanks Jane. ~I'm blushing~ I'm so glad you liked the post. (hugs!)

Yep,trust is huge in character developement. They trust me to get their stories told and I trust that they will eventually tell me every thing I need to know to get it right. hehe Shoot, I sometimes don't even have all of the pertinent info on my characters until the final edit...

I actually find past characters popping up and wanting to be in current stories. They like to show off their happiness which is A-okay with me. :)

Have a great week!