My stories do not write, no matter how hard I try, until I love the main character. Sometimes it might take a few paragraphs to get me there, but I must absolutely fall in love. Sometimes this is a tenderness and love I feel for my readers, which is probably a little bizarre and silly and embarrassing, because, when it comes down to it, I don't know my readers individually. Only as some theoretical whole, a mish-mash of details they've written me about, of bits and struggles that have been shared or overheard, of compassion and shared longing, of common aches and similar dreams.
Is it the writer's way to see the snippy, barking, cranky woman and love her? To fill in a whole backstory of a woman who wants love more than anything and can't seem to help herself but to push away what she wants most?
Is it the writer's way to see a person suffering, and ache to write a whole book in order to comfort her? Or him? To see a person in despair and want to write a book to give him hope?
Is it the writer's way to analyze every person she comes across, to the point of being a sensitive, over-analytical freak? To be a nosybody, always curious about why people do what they do and how they feel about it?
With the writer's love, I think, comes the greatest fear of letting one's character down, of letting their readers down.
For me, there is a burning fear, a burning hope, and a burning need for me to do my character justice, to do the story right for her.
Can you tell I love my current character more than any I've loved any character before? (It's possible I say that every time.)
How does it feel for you? Where does it start for you? When your story "takes off," when you hit that moment when the story starts unfolding before your eyes and you're just taking notes, what sets it off?
What's the trigger button for you?