Friday, January 28, 2011

Only the Lonely?

I've heard all my writing life that writing is a lonely occupation. It's true that the only players in real life are your mind and your computer. But that doesn't mean you have to spend those long hours writing alone. You have your characters for company.

While writing a book, I become very tangled up in the lives of the characters, especially the series characters who continue from book to book. I'd love to meet them in real life. Well, not the villains, especially.

Maliha Crayne, the  protagonist of my Mortal Path series, is a complicated person, starting with the fact that she's over 300 years old. If you passed her on the street, you'd see a beautiful woman in her late twenties or early thirties, very fit, with a confident walk, and alert. Someone who wouldn't automatically smile at you or even acknowledge your presence, yet you'd be sure she'd sized you up--predator or prey--with a glance. Maliha doesn't open up easily, but if you do make it to her inner circle of friends, she'll risk everything for you. She used to be a demon's assassin, but now she saving lives, working toward specific goals. She's a powerful martial artist and can see auras, run very fast, and heal fast. I love being in her company. She's exciting, unpredictable, and does everything I wish I could do.

Maliha's friend Hound was a medic in the Viet Nam war. He came home severely injured, but this many years later he gets around well enough with his body scarred. He's a private eye with shady government contacts. Maliha uses him for investigations and he sometimes travels in the field with her. He's impulsive, argumentative, and sometimes rough, yet he can be funny too. He has a strong moral code of his own devising that seems to allow killing anyone he determines needs killing.There are a lot of fascinating stories in his life, and I'd love to take him to a bar and listen to them over a few beers.

Amaro is another of Maliha's circle of friends. He was saved from a Brazilian shantytown when gang violence threatened. He's young, a hottie, wealthy, and could have any woman he wanted. A former bad boy hacker, he now makes his living helping companies with their computer security. His skills are crucial to Maliha, since he alters computer records before and after the fact to keep her exploits hidden. Amaro is lighthearted and a free spirit, although he takes his computer work seriously. His sister Rosie nags him to settle down and have a family as she has done, but he's not ready for that. Amaro could lavish all his attention on me, and I definitely wouldn't be lonely!

Xia Yanmeng rounds out those of Maliha's friends who know about her abilities and goals. He and his wife are survivors of China's Cultural Revolution. Yanmeng and Maliha love each other deeply but it isn't the passionate kind. Yanmeng is a remote viewer who can see Maliha anywhere in the world, if she permits it. Yanmeng is an excellent martial artist, but generally doesn't go with Maliha in the field. He is a very spiritual person who is learning to spend time on higher planes of existence, and is gradually leaving behind Earthly concerns. For now, he is someone Maliha can talk to who will give her an absolutely honest answer, and he serve as a guide for her on her own quest. There is so much to admire in and learn from Yanmeng, I don't think I'd ever tire of his company.

Finally, Maliha has a friend who doesn't know about her age and her compelling backstory. Randy Baxter, corporate analyst in her late twenties, is the girlfriend Maliha can socialize with and get away from all of the burdens and serious nature of her life. She and Randy go to clubs, talk about dates, and talk to each other late at night on the phone. Randy is pure escape for Maliha, and even sets her up on the blind date where she meets her lover Jake for the first time. Jake seems wonderful, but Maliha knows he's holding something back. With Jake, she always thinks, "I love him, but...". Whether Randy is excited about her new love or in the dumps about breaking up, she's interesting and a bit of a challenge to know. I like her, and she's not so different from real life friends, so working with her in a book comes easily.

With this group clamoring for attention when I write, there's no time to even consider loneliness!

What fictional characters would you like to spend time with, and why? Anyone who's company you just couldn't stand?


Shay said...

I have often said that i may not leave the house for days at a time and i only have myself to talk to but lonely not a chance. I have an entire world that I created in my mind just bursting to life with many different personalities. My characters being the center of this world keep me very interested and active...never lonely when your the voice of an entire world. lol.

Cath's Chatter said...

JR WARD'S BDB guys....they are totally HOT ♥

nymfaux said...

That was AWESOME!!!---I've never really thought of it quite like that, but I absolutely feel the same--I'm never alone when there's a good book nearby!!!---And love hearing you describe your characters like you would describe friends!!! (or enemies...)