Join Prism Book Alliance® as Kage Alan goes Outside the Margins today.
I have author friends who publish a book a month. I truly admire their ability to do that because I don’t think I have it in me. Writing a book, creating the story, finding the plot points, and making the characters come to life is a long, painstaking process for me, but it’s one I also enjoy. Immersing oneself in a story can be much the same for the writer as the reader. The reader has read the back cover, so they know the basic plot. The author knows the basic plot too, only things tend to change between the beginning and the end. We also invest ourselves in the characters, and get attached to them.
Friends have teased me in the past because there were certain things I never did in my stories. For instance, I never killed characters off. Well, I never killed ‘the good guys’ or ‘gals’ off. Bad guys died aplenty. Let’s face it, they’re the Red Shirts of the literary world. But the good guys? If I’m writing them, and I like them, why in the heck would I kill them off?
Writing comedies has been good for me on a personal level because inserting asides you wouldn’t normally see in dialogue, setting up jokes early on that pay off later on, and creating a sense of fun does wonders for your life away from the manuscript. I tend to act and react like my characters, often offering that little quip or sarcastic response as if living life in a sitcom of sorts. Is it always appropriate? No. But is it fun when done at the right moment? You bet it is.
I’m mentioned before that friends and family have asked when I’d write something serious, or more mainstream. I think the Falling Awake novella addresses that, and, quite honestly, they don’t ask me when I’ll be writing something serious again after reading it. But, imagine for a moment, as serious as it was for a reader to invest themselves in the characters and situations, what do you think it did to the author?
The second Falling Awake story is nearing completion, and it makes the novella look like a day at Disney in terms of seriousness. Writing it has been no picnic. I’ve been moody, depressed, and otherwise anti-social because of what I am putting characters, good characters, through. In order for us to believe these characters will go to the lengths they seem willing to in the first book, it’s necessary to understand why. And, in understanding why, we must roll around in the muck with them.
This is no easy task for the author. These characters came out of my head, and I feel protective of them. My instinct is stop them from getting in over their head. Yet, even I understand that to achieve what they will, they must first stumble, and even fall. This weighs heavily on me, much in the way I ultimately hope it weighs heavily on readers.
I’ve never found a way to insulate myself from being bonded to my characters, and there must be one. At least readers can close the book and mutter “I’m glad this isn’t my life” or “I’m glad I don’t hang with these characters.” Authors don’t have that luxury because these people have taken up residence in our heads!
So be kind to authors. We tend to feel what we write.
About Kage Alan
Non-award winning and utterly non-famous LGBT author Kage Alan lives in a suburb of Detroit, MI with his husband, who answers to “His Majesty,” and their fish and shrimp, who answer to “fish” or “shrimp.” He enjoys adding to his tiny Blu-Ray library, and fibbing about buying Blu-Rays on New Release Tuesday. Kage also lives in fear of His Majesty’s Hong Kong Grandmonster, who God apparently doesn’t want to spend time with.
His novels include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, and Falling Awake. He also has short stories in Butt Pirates in Space, Butt Ninjas From Hell, Butt Babes in Boyland, Butt Riders on the Range, and Butt Villains on Vacation.
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