Writing Real vs. Fictional Friends
Thanks everyone for hosting me and kicking off my blog tour for Searching For A Starry Night on Kindle/, and the upcoming new print version.
I noticed that most of my characters have friends, which I consider a good thing. After all, who wants to read about someone always talking to themselves, unless you intended to picture them slightly unglued, of course.
Friendship is at the heart of the story in my children's book Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery just released on Kindle.
Friends can play an important role in solving a mystery, even if it's just for the company. Holmes had Watson; Stephanie Plum has Grandma Mazur; even Miss Marple needed someone to talk to, usually the long-suffering police chief who listened (grudgingly) to her ideas.
In Searching for a Starry Night, 13-year-old Sam and her BFF Lita have a pretty good relationship—most of the time.
They usually agree, but friendship, especially one of many years, can, and does, have its own source of conflict, as when Lita gets mad at Sam for taking her fear of ghosts lightly by teasing her. Lita feels even more threatened after she's the first to uncover an unusual document connected to a spooky event in the family's past.
After they argue and Lita withdraws, Sam is now the one feeling threatened and fears that her decades-old friendship could end. She also may have to continue her hunt alone for the missing miniature replica of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" painting, something she'd rather share with her friend.
As in real life, fictional friends have testy moments. Friends can argue. They can disagree while having a central goal. Writing such moments into a story is what makes characters real and helps the reader feel a touch of empathy or even a little anger at the character's actions or attitude.
It's like reacting to what's going on in a movie. When the reader (or viewer) starts yelling at the character or feels something towards them, be it joy, anger, disgust, impatience, judgment, etc. – you know you've succeeded in making them real. You've made a connection.
That's the fun part. Giving your characters friends not only adds some conflict and a little tension to the story, it can add some light moments and it makes the story that much more real.
Thanks for letting me meet your blog visitors!
Anyone commenting on any of the blog stops on the tour can win:
*One person who comments on any of the blog tour stops will win a free Kindle copy of Searching for a Starry Night. (You can download Kindle for PC free here.)
* One person will also win a miniaturized dollhouse collector's edition of the first chapter from the first print edition, made by miniaturist LeeAnn Borgia. See my
blog for links and photo.
** To celebrate the revised Searching for a Starry Night, one person will win a copy of the new print version when it is available.
* eBooks page
* Searching For A Starry Night on Kindle