Friday, November 17, 2006


What is certainly true of all great characters is that they are larger-than-life. I do not mean that they are unrealistic. Quite the contrary. What I mean is they act, speak and think in ways you or I most of the time cannot, or at any rate do not. They say the things we wished we had said. They do things we dream about doing. They grow and change in ways we wish that we could. They feel feelings authentically and without turning away. That is as true of Judy Blume’s sixth grader Margaret Simon who talks to God while waiting to get her period as it is of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt while he is raising the Titanic . . . they express for us our greatest purposes and our deepest desires. They are us. That is the reason we identify with them.

Tricia’s Thoughts:

I can’t count the number of times I’ve come up with the perfect comeback . . . about two hours after the conversation was over. And while I’d like to think I’m a confident person, I often sit on the sidelines instead of being in the middle of the action. Not so with the characters I write. They face danger, stand up for their beliefs, and strive to make a difference in mankind. They also worry about the future, question why bad things happen to good people, and wonder if things truly will turn out better in the end. They are so similar to me in their frailties, yet act in heroic ways that are so different from my everyday life. These characters teach me about life through the course of my writing. Similar characters also speak to me as I read the books of others. How can they be so much like me, yet so different too? How can they be so larger-than-life and so yet identifiable? It’s something I’m still trying to figure out.


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

Because they're the me I'd like to be, "If I only had a brain." They respond to their fictional lives in ways I would respond to my foible-filled life in 20-20 hindsight.

9:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home