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  • Writer's pictureDale Thele

The Emotional Connection Between Authors and Their Characters

Authors and Their Characters

When an author writes a manuscript, they become vested in the characters and their varied personal stories that make up the manuscript. The characters become a part of the family, and when the time comes to say goodbye to the manuscript, it can be an emotional moment for the author. When the author types those last words, they bid a final goodbye to the characters and put them to bed for the last time.

Personal Connections

As an author, I become attached to my characters, some more than others. The characters may be a part of a short story, novella, novel, or even a book series.

For example, there was Ezra from the interior story of MASKED IDENTITIES. Not long after publication, I felt Ezra had an unfinished story. Giving Ezra a voice to tell that story was when the concept of MASKED IDENTITIES—THE REVEAL (no longer available in print), came to be. It was the logical conclusion of the historical interior story that Megan read in her grandfather’s library. Ezra’s voice became a short story and was later permanently added to the ending of the novella MASKED IDENTITIES.

Other characters, like Ryan Tanner, the kid from the novelette “FIRST TIME”, included in the anthology NAUGHTY GAY ADULT BEDTIME STORIES. Ryan struck a note in me as I wrote “FIRST TIME”. The story was told entirely from his teenage perspective. Although I wasn't familiar with a "Ryan" in real life, he just grew on me as I wrote the manuscript.

I suppose my most profound character connection has been with Shane Davison, the antagonist/protagonist of the Shane Davison Chronicles Series. This is probably the strongest connection to any character I've had in my writing career. I say this because "Shane" is a composite of myself and other people in my real-world experience. Also, Shane tells his story (throughout the entire series) from his own personal perspective, which has created a bond between the fictional character and me. In writing the series, I spend a great deal of time inside Shane's head, which has led to a strong connection between both of us.

Another character which whom I have a connection is Dexter (Shane Davison Chronicles Series) He's a young son of a co-worker at Dillinger’s Department Store. Shane and Dexter became friends, and their relationship grew and morphed as circumstances in their lives changed. Dex started out as a kid, full of curiosity about the world, and through their combined histories and as the series continues, Shane became a real-life guncle to the kid.

Saying Goodbye

As I conclude each manuscript, I have to say goodbye to these characters who have become more than words on paper, but individuals with feelings and dreams. Saying so long is easier with some than with others. Sometimes, while lying in bed at night, a character's voice whom I left behind when their story was finished echoes in my mind. I’ve often caught myself wiping a tear from my eye after hearing those voices. Moments like that are when I’m assured that these characters who I’d grown an attachment aren’t gone forever. They’re beside me as I write exploits of new characters—characters who will eventually join the ghosts of previous manuscripts.

I'd appreciate hearing your comments. Leave your thoughts in the Comment Box at the bottom of the page.

Dale Thele, Bestselling Fiction Author

Bestselling Fiction Author

Stories with an LGBTQ+ Twist

corrupting readers since 2008

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