The interesting thing about being a writer is that over time you realize how much the characters you create give back to you.
How much they teach you.
It's an odd realization, because you're the one who created them. It's not like an actual child whose life you initiate, who goes on to absorb the world and then reinvigorates your life with new knowledge and ideas. Everything a character is - on the page - is something you put there.
I have learned so much from my characters.
It's astounding, really, how much I have learned from my characters.
Being a writer makes you define what you think. It makes you explore your views and those of others. It makes you face your sense of life and either redefine it, or support it. You move your fictional people around in heroic ways. And although all credible heroes are also flawed, those flaws are forgiven in the end because the hero's intentions, their direction, their purpose is ultimately good.
I have learned much from Sammy Keyes about determination and friendship, about compassion and forgiveness. From Holly in Runaway I've learned about survival (and I don't mean all the stowing away and living off abandoned movie theater popcorn). From Rusty in Swear to Howdy I've learned about courage and holding on with all your might. From Nolan in Shredderman I've learned to look at the root of hate and ask myself why? Why is this person so mean? From Juli and Bryce in Flipped, I've learned to have patience...with myself and with others...and I've learned that a parent's role is to lead by example.
These are all main characters, but it is not the protagonist in The Running Dream who serves as a model for me at this time. It's the best friend, Fiona.
I'm not at liberty to say anything more, but for those of you who look for my posts every Sunday night, please forgive this tardy entry. Know that I haven't been slacking. Far from it. I've been very busy, finding my inner Fiona.
I've learned so much from Fiona.