Today, I'm filling in for Rose Dee who is in a very busy time. She will be taking my spot next week.
I don't know about you, but I become teary when I say goodbye to family and friends after they've come to visit. Last Easter weekend was no exception when our son visited with us. We had a time of deep sharing of our fears and hopes and dreams. A time to go deeper into our relationship and learn new things about each other. The sharing moved me deeply. We'd crossed another point of no return in our bonding. When Dan left I cried. He laughed lovingly. I was being sentimental, again.
As writers we become intimate with our characters. We share their high and low times. We conquer mountains, swim oceans and enter into deep dark places with them. We share secrets and argue with them in the same way we do with real people.
What happens to our characters in our minds when we finish a book? I like that they continue to live on between the covers of our books. I would like to think that is the end of those characters and I can move on to creating the next family to write about, but I can't. The characters became living breathing people. I've spent a year or more with them. Learning their likes and dislikes, their fears and hopes for the future. They've become close friends, the type we can argue with and still come up smiling at the end of the day and be stronger in our relationship.
I don't know about you, but I have one heck of a time trying to let go of my characters. I go through a grieving process and have to pray for guidance and strength to let go of these 'people'. A year or more later, I'm still thinking about them wondering how they're getting along and what challenges they're facing. I ask them if they want me to write another story about them. They answer, 'No, we're happy'.
Although, Kizza and Justin from African Hearts want me to write more about them. They're going to go through some tough times. I say yes, and immediately they come to life in my mind again. This is an exciting time and I can't wait until I get pen and paper to draft what they're telling me. I'm also pleased I'm not saying goodbye to them. We're going to have fun again.
Do you find it hard to say goodbye to your characters? Have they become so ingrained in you that they become real friends and you need to go through a grieving process?