The Soul of the Matter: Is Your Character Alive?

Is your character alive? It’s a great question that Claire Mussed answers beautifully on The Salon. She tells us that whatever else a reader thinks about a character in a story, what matters most is, “Is this character alive?” I love her feminist rant, which triggered this response to a review of one of her books. And I love even more the question her response begs us to ask about our own lives–Are WE alive?


Whether you’re a writer or not, it’s the kind of challenge that should resonate. Whether I was a writer or not, it would touch me. Because that very mystery–What makes a life about more than simply existing…what makes it thriving?–is at the core of the voice inside me, searching for answers.

I struggle sometimes to reconcile my optimism for life with the honesty I try to see in the world.

I personally don’t find forced cheer or fun either inspiring or entertaining. I feel what I feel, I embrace what I am where I am, and I look for encouragement and amazement around every corner, regardless. Does that mean I’m happy all the time? No. But I’m authentically alive, engaged in my life, and living with every ounce of my being, looking to both now and the future, craving the next opportunity.

My Mimosa Lane Series can be a bit too realistic for some romance readers. I get that. I write outside the lines, beyond the rules–which is exactly where I live. But I hope I do live. Just as I hope my characters do, in the hearts and minds of readers who embrace and cherish them for the thriving journeys they’re on.

My vision for living, and my voice when writing, is to live and inspire both characters and readers to do the same. And to get you to ask…

How will you live today?

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One Response to “The Soul of the Matter: Is Your Character Alive?”

  1. JeanneC says:

    I love your thinking-outside-the-box. I think that shows a creative mind and leads to good writing.

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