Image by lippert61 via FlickrA writer must not forget to live life to the fullest, if we are to create characters with rich emotional lives. All of our fiction comes from our psyche and our spirit - even fantasy comes from some seed planted in our life somewhere.
EDGES was borne out of very real personal experiences. I was transformed myself by Moab, Utah. Addiction/ recovery is a theme close to my heart as both a therapist, friend and family member. I have put myself in others' shoes and looked at my own tendencies to teeter over into addictive territory. I have witnessed first hand the power of the 12 Steps and the fallibility of personalities involved in any tradition. If there is to be truth in story, then you must write about things that matter to you. It's not important to necessarily write about what you know, because you can always learn. But for a work to be compelling, you must deeply care about what your characters care about, in order to make your readers want to keep turning the pages.
I will be in Richmond, Virginia at Fountain Bookstore on Tuesday, March 22nd, doing not only a reading and a signing, but leading a workshop with the very same title as this post. Both teens and adults are welcome to explore character development with me from the core of your being. Writing exercises and discussion will be intertwined. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!