Sleeping With My Characters

Sleeping with my characters, CL Charlesworth, fiction writerFiction Writing emerges as my personal choice for many reasons. The most important one points to pure enjoyment.

A saying floating around forever (I wish I could remember its originator, but then, recalling the words seem more important):  DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND THE MONEY Will FOLLOW.  Now, I would not be 100% honest if I didn’t confess all the months of clicking away at my keyboard doesn’t spark a wish to sign a major book deal.  But in reality—it may not happen, or as quickly as I want.  I slap myself hard.  Every known author was once unknown.  Yet, this anguish (Many writers eat this ugly insecurity:  My writing isn’t good enough . . . I’ll kill myself if I get another rejection letter) dogs me into believing all my efforts are in vain.

But wait!  DAH!  There’s self-publishing and e-publishing, the two right here, right now options.  I’m not frowning on them—God no.  I’ve connected with some amazing writers who will go to their graves with massive, self-satisfying grins for not giving in to traditional publishing.

I chose to have my first novel, The Ears That Have Eyes, e-published.  The project, garnering 4-5-star reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles, gave me wonderful rewards:  smiles and accolades to weave a page turning story. No, I didn’t make a fortune (Gosh, my day counts to 24 hours.  When could I write and sleep with all the social media needed?).  But the satisfaction of knowing that strangers read my book and gave an emotional investment to my characters has provided me a greenlight gratification. Perhaps I do possess the talent to land a literary agent.

My formula is to create characters that walk off the page and sit down beside the reader—this resonates all I hope to be as a writer. I love mixing fire and light together like the brilliant Sedona, Arizona storms exploding the sky. They are ever so magnificent.

I gravitate to tormented people who devour the purity of their counterpart, I call the hero.  I want my reader to root for and close their eyes full of tears as the hero falls and struggles to stand their ground.  Now I call that a page turning novel. You never know when the storm is going to end, but you know when it’s over God reveals the sun’s rays of hope.  I believe we call it a rainbow.

I also believe we like peering through our binoculars into the lives of our neighbors’ dirt and drama. But know in the end, I am a writer of optimism. I just can’t allow the dark side to run ramped. There must and has to be justice. Growth in love, spirituality, and life (hitting a few bullet points) as valuable lessons learned through the trials set before our hero, to appreciate the rainbow, gain strength to choose a different path, find happiness, and ax the claws crushing their coffin shut.

Writing strong character fiction is like life in Paris for me. Each turn of the corner, each smell, each taste evokes an electric volt to my imagination. All bets are oRunning through fields of lavenderff when I unlock my inhibitions. I can visually run naked through my French field of flowers—lavender.

Keeping true to my character’s insurmountable challenges forces my brain cells to submerge deeper and deeper until my nails have dug into my flesh and blood covers my hands, dripping down my fingers, filling my lap and spilling into puddles around my feet.

My eyes and words are acute. I want to compel my audience into dialog, if not with others, with themselves. If they cry, laugh, grit their teeth…  but in the end—applaud my efforts and the hero’s bravery—then my personal choice, to write, has been fulfilled.

Since putting to paper The Last Merry Go Round, (see last month’s blog to read a snippet) I’ve connected with women all over the world. They are in awe at the depth of the relationships in this story. And have in sum said, “What you have portrayed merits a timely and honest reflection.”

My rewards are priceless.

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