Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Last week, I wrote about using a physically painful experience to be able to write effectively about pain. I haven’t done that yet, but I seem to be having many “writing as life” moments. Yesterday, in my personal blog (http://jenniferwilck.com/blog/2013/01/14/free-pass/), I wrote about how I wish I could push aside all restrictions, such as manners, responsibilities, and the like, and speak and act freely, without concern for the consequences. Paula read my post and commented that I should create a character who does that. It was a great idea!

Her idea made me think. I don’t usually write from personal experience. It’s a question I’m asked many times by readers about my books. I’ve definitely incorporated a particular real-life snippet in each book, but more than that I haven’t done.

However, upon further examination, I might be headed in that direction soon. My antagonists, the real bad guys, be they male or female, are all based in part on a specific person I know. And in my head, for cathartic reasons, I’ve worked out a scene where a heroine gets her revenge on him, as I wish I could do. I’ve got the entire scene worked out—setting, characters, event, etc. I know dialogue, facial expression and even who comes to her rescue. If I could tell a complete story in one scene, I’d be set.

I even know, or think I know, which story I can put it in. It’s the second book in the series I’m writing. My problem right now is that the heroine in that story does not speak freely. She’s very controlled, plans for every situation and comes across as someone who is completely, 100% capable. For the scene to work, I’d have to make significant changes to her backstory. I’d have to make how she comes across a façade, which would definitely make her interesting and three dimensional. If I do it right, I can show  how she progresses from being perfect on the outside because that’s what’s expected of her (in contrast to her sister, who’s a mess, and the heroine of the first book) to eventually doing exactly what she wants, without regard for the consequences. The scene where she gets her revenge on the bad guy could be the perfect denouement to that character arc.

Now I just have to get up the guts to do that, because, while I’m not this outwardly perfect heroine like I’ve created, I do definitely care about the consequences!


  1. I'm so pleased that my simple comment has sparked off your new ideas, Jen! I do hope your 'new' character develops as you want her too. Yur analysis of her certainly sounds very realistic. Good luck!

  2. Thanks Paula. That's one of the things I like best about blogging. There are a lot more real-time conversations with people and they provide great ideas!

  3. Jennifer,

    It sounds like you have a great plan. I love it when a single scene (brought about by the tiny germ of an idea or a comment from someone else) can be used to shape an entire character, and thus an entire story.

    I say go for it!

  4. What a great idea, Jen.. and Paula. I think it takes courage to write vivid realism, but it could wow your readers.

  5. Thanks ladies, it's just creating even more reasons for me to tell my family not to read my books! ;)