Friday, 8 June 2018

Merging - by Annie Try

Eek! It’s happening again - I can feel myself morphing, changing, being pulled by some strange force into the very character I have created.

OK - it doesn’t always happen - after all my last protagonist was a red-headed male with an untidy beard.  The closest I came to his character was hiding all my empty coffee mugs in drawers and neglecting my houseplants.

But then there was the star of Trying to Fly.  She was younger than me, and I thought I made her fairly distinct but gradually the process happened.  I think it was her fault though - I wrote her hair as curly but then she changed it into a straighter bob.  I’m sure that’s how it went.  And she had a scarf - just like one of mine.  I had quite a hunt to find the beautiful teal jumper which was her favourite, though, so I was being sucked in.

Maybe that’s why I’m writing about a 22-year old at the moment. I must retain some of myself so I will hang on to my senior age. She’s young, she’s slim (I’ve lost 4lb writing about her, by the way) and she wears blue, thinks blue, paints rooms with blue walls and buys blue furniture. Well, not exactly just blue. She says azure, sky, cobalt and navy. And so do I, as I hang out my washing and bring it in - every item containing the same pigment.

I’m going to have to be careful here - I’ve eaten a lot of blueberries lately. I love blue rooms but have restricted myself to teal and turquoise walls so far - I am trying to hang on to the slant towards green, if I can. Green used to be my favourite colour - but now? Oh, I am definitely merging!

At least I don’t write crime fiction - Bluedelle is not a murderer so she can’t pull me into that.  If she did, would I get away with blue murder? Oh no, she makes terrible jokes and now I do.

Maybe if I spent less time thinking about her, imagining what she thinks, how she looks and the way she behaves and instead captured her on paper then I would be free again.

But what about her? Would she become stilted, losing the freedom to develop as a full, intriguing character and become a pale shadow of her former vibrant self?

That may be a risk I have to take...

'Annie Try' is the pen-name of Angela Hobday, Chair of ACW. When not writing thought-provoking novels she dances, plays the cello and assists in leading her Church.  Her recent Dr Mike Lewis stories (Trying to Fly and Out of Silence) are published by Instant Apostle.


  1. This happens to me too. We obviously put a lot of ourselves into our writing. Literally! I really relate to this post, Annie 🙂

  2. So true, Annie. Is it possible to write about a person you care about (and we have to care about our protagonist, don't we?) without sharing some of their features? Great post, thank you.