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My 2D and Paper & Ink Families

July 18, 2010

Please don’t tease me for using Castle examples again. You’re wasting your time. You should be recording re-runs, becoming obsessed, renting season one, watching season two online, and waiting eagerly for season three (because that’s really making good use of your time).

I’m back! Wondering where I was? I had to link that “Castle” up there, wound up on their site, and became engrossed in the Ask Castle videos (there’s some good writing advice in there!). Back to the post…

People make me happier in life than almost anything else. They make living a joy, because loving them makes the entire world seem better. This applies mostly to real people, but characters have nearly the same affect on me. My 2D and paper & ink families add laughter, smiles, and occasionally tears to my life, making it glisten brighter. People, fictional or not, are an integral part of the human experience. We have the ability to love so strongly. It’s an astounding gift, because, when you get right down to it, love is what makes life worth living.

I’m using Castle and Alexis as examples because I frequently tell my dad that they were misplaced. In my ideal reality, they would have been my uncle and cousin. Watching them makes me ache for their friendship. I can’t stop thinking of all the way we’re similar (and, best of all, Castle’s a writer!). They would both fit so well in my family that I feel like they’re missing. Their father-daughter relationship reminds me of the one I have with my dad; the ways I relate to them are never-ending.

I’m a crier. Really. I cry from happiness, excitement, frustration, sadness, etcetera. Oftentimes, I cry when I read or watch a TV show. I become so invested in the characters, so in love with them (not in the romantic way), that watching them go through hard times or happy ones resonates incredibly with me.

As readers, we hone our skills as people-lovers. Have you ever realized that the more a character has at risk, or the more likable they are, the faster we read? The more torn we feel when we’re done? Happy that we experienced what we did while reading but simultaneously wishing we hadn’t read it at all because we miss it so much? Even when the plot isn’t quite thrilling, the characters can hold a story on their own. Reading helps us to appreciate the little things, hold back presumptions and wait to see what people are really like. From reading, we learn that people can change, we witness it happen. We give more people the benefit of the doubt. If we’re not doing these things, we need to. We don’t have an excuse because every book we read teaches us that value of people. Every person is valuable to the story, every person is valuable in our lives, whether to teach us a lesson, to help us strengthen our patience, or to give us more reason to love.

As writers, we have the opportunity to create friends. To add more people to the world. We’re giving readers the opportunity to love more. We’re teaching ourselves about the ins and outs of human nature and giving ourselves the opportunity to appreciate what people are, to appreciate their weaknesses, because we learn that even their weaknesses contribute to their character. Most importantly, we are creating people that will resonate with a reader, give them goosebumps, make them cry, make them laugh, make them love life a little bit more.

These 2D and paper & ink families are crucial. Imagine all the people out there. Tucked within book covers or scripts. People who might just be our meant-to-be cousins. Or our role models. Or mentors, crushes, our bosom friends.

Open a book, read. Turn on the television, watch. Open a Word document, write.

Create people. Meet people. Love them or hate them, but let them contribute something to your life.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2010 6:03 PM

    I believe books helped me develop a deeper way of connecting with people; I can’t walk in someone else’s shoes, but I can imagine.

    Also, I used to wish Anne Shirley were real because we would’ve been besties. I could trump Diana any day!

    • July 22, 2010 6:07 PM

      I know this is going to sound silly, but when I read the Anne books last year, they made me:

      Cry. Laugh. Love.

      I even stayed home from school after book 8 because I felt so terrible. Of all the books in the world, those were some of the very few that changed my life incredibly. Aside from religious texts, they’re the most influential books in my life. Anne is my best friend, despite the fact that she lives on the page. 😀

      The Anne books made everything look prettier. Like trees and fallen leaves and clouds. It’s amazing how much books can change us, isn’t it?

  2. July 19, 2010 12:28 PM

    “We’re giving readers the opportunity to love more. ”
    I love love LOVE that. What an original and empowering way to think about writing.

    You rock 🙂

  3. July 18, 2010 7:26 PM

    beautiful post! youre seriously so insightful and mature, i would never have been able to write something like this. and brownie points because castle is AMAZING! especially him and alexis together, i so agree with you.

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