“…character is determined not only by what one writes about the character, but by how other characters react and respond to them.” Jaqueline Carey
I read this quote a few days back quite by accident. I was looking for something else on line, and just skimmed over this sentence, thinking, hmm, true, but I already knew that.
That night, when I sat down to write I looked at where I had left off at my previous writing session. I had tried to sit down and write a few times that day when I saw I had a few spare minutes (yes, sometimes I write for just a few minutes at a time – with little ones around I take what I can get 🙂 ), but I had not been able to move past this line I wrote when a character was reminiscing out loud:
“She loved her, you see. Everyone who knew her did.”
Something was wrong with this sentence, but I didn’t know what. I was stuck, and didn’t know why.
Then it hit me. “…character is determined not only by what one writes about the character, but by how other characters react and respond to them.”
What I wrote was simply not true. Isabella was not lovable, she was a lost soul, in great need of help.
The people around thought she needed to be controlled, and that she was not capable of tending to herself – that is not love when speaking of a fully grown woman.
I changed my words: “She cared for her you see – she knew she needed help. Most who knew Isabella wanted to help her. Except for that doctor. And my Ma, she blamed him most of all.”
Now the story makes sense.
Now I can write.