It has often been said, by writers (and I might even be guilty of having said it myself), that we are paid to tell lies. In fact we are paid to do the opposite. We are paid to find the truth.
If I don’t believe what I’m writing, my reader won’t believe it either. If I am glib or smug or two-faced, my readers, if they stay around to read my work, will end up despising me.
Telling stories and telling lies are not the same thing at all.
I don’t care what I’m writing about. I’ve written tales of elves and space warriors, of mathematicians, of school kids and of victims. To me, all of these characters are real; they show me who they are by talking to me and by acting out in front of me. That is not to say that I always like them, nor that I don’t invent stories and situations for them to interact in, but I think that character is key.
When I get that right, I can’t make a character do anything ‘out-of-character’; they simply won’t let me.
It’s wonderful to love or hate a character that I’m writing, but in the end, every character makes the plot work, and each one contributes to the truth I am searching for
And, when I find that truth, you all know about it.