Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Intimate Are You?

"When writers are self-conscious about themselves as writers they often keep a great distance from their characters, sounding as if they were writing encyclopedia entries instead of stories. Their hesitancy about physical and psychological intimacy can be a barrier to vital fiction. Conversely, a narration that makes readers hear the characters' heavy breathing and smell their emotional anguish diminishes distance. Readers feel so close to the characters that, for those magical moments, they become those characters."
~Jerome Stern


Are you self-conscious about your writing, or have you developed the comfort and confidence to allow intimacy with your characters? This is a good question, one we should all face squarely. 

If you hesitate or lean towards "self-conscious", there are a wealth of resources right here in the blogging community to help you work your way to a resounding "Yes, I'm confident!"'

What would your answer be?

21 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

I'll admit that intimacy with my characters has never been a problem. I have a long list of other problems, but not that. In fact, it's been rare for anyone to question character in my critiques. Grammar, show don't tell, overuse of that and so, pacing - that's another story!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I did struggle with this when I started writing. But I'm getting better at it.

Jessica Bell said...

Confident! :o) It's so true though. I think a writer's low self-esteem comes through in their writing. We all need to start believing in ourselves more!

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

LMAO, Hilarious pic!

Laura Pauling said...

Great question. I constantly work at making myself vulnerable on the pages through the characters. It's harder than it sounds but necessary.

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm not as confident as I'd like to be, but I'm progressing well.

Bee said...

Thankfully, this problem doesn't happen to me. I lose all inhibitions when writing, but it also makes me wonder sometimes, what my parents would think if they ever really read what I write.

Katie Ganshert said...

My answer fluctuates depending on all kinds of things. This is most definitely a great question to ask!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I am really self-conscious about my writing--BUT not when I'm writing, if that makes any sense. I totally lose myself in the zone. It's when I'm not writing that all the insecurities slide in.

Old Kitty said...

I've lived with my current wip on and off for nearly 10 years now so they're like my extended family and by jingo they have no more secrets from me!!! Yay!!!

I love the quote, btw!

Take care
x

Karen Lange said...

Hmm. Good question, and I'm not sure what my answer is. In some ways yes and in others no. Good thing to work on, thanks!

Happy weekend amigo! :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

What a great answer. Intimacy is so important.

NiaRaie said...

I love being intimate with my characters. It's just that sometimes...they don't feel the same way and I struggle to get their name out of them!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I struggled at the beginning but for the most part, I'm over it by now.

Gina Blechman said...

Usually, when I get to a really deep scene, I literally put myself in the characters shoes and try to walk through it with them, taking turns acting as the various characters. I like to get as close to my characters as possible. I find it makes for the most intense scenes.

<3 Gina Blechman

Heather said...

I never thought of that distant feeling from one's characters in this light. Very interesting. I'd have to say that I'm getting more confident and I think my characters are getting better for it. Excellent post!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

good topic! I'm still working on this.

Barbara Watson said...

What I love most about books I read is feeling lost in characters, so I hope that comes through in my writing too. I'll put this question on my 'things to check during revising.' Thank you!

anthony stemke said...

There is something wrong with that photo. Oh yeah, the stopsign should be a "Yield" sign. CM!

The Golden Eagle said...

I suppose I am a bit self-conscious about my writing, although I do feel confidence about some things. I never connected it to the characters, though, but it makes sense--great quote!

Vicki Rocho said...

I guess I'm a little self-conscious in that I need total privacy in order to write. I can't write anything worthwhile if someone is watching/reading. Put me in my Harry Potter closet office though, and I'm golden!

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