Changing a main character
Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
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Changing a main character

Alright, I'm going to try this again... over the past several days I have attempted to write a blog, but about halfway through, I get a stupid notice and the blog is deleted when the page suddenly reloads. Frustrating!
Okay, so after writing about making Cali's mother Patricia into an Angel in an unconscious attempt to keep my own mother alive, I realized how the entire blog could be erroneously attributed to reflect on my father. Make no mistake about it, my father and Cali's father have absolutely nothing in common. Cali's father is based on a real person, but not a person out of my personal life. I have many friends that have been abused or were abused as children. It was from their descriptions of their fathers that I formed Mr. Stewart.
I do admit however, after reviewing the last blog post, to some retrospection on how I handled the final showdown between Cali and her father, which occurs in The Maine Reason. Originally he was just an ass hole, they type of man that most of us would gladly hang. But, when it came to Cali finally facing him, adult to adult... or more accurately adult to ghost.... I felt a certain desire to rescue him. Now of course I couldn't absolve him. He had committed so many atrocities. But, I did find myself torn when it came to granting him forgiveness. This is part of Cali's job, giving ghosts what they need to move on. Of course her father would need forgiveness or something like it, to move on. How, could I possibly ask her to forgive him? I guess if you want to know the answer to that, you will need to read the book.
Still, the feelings that I had for Mr. Stewart in that book reflect my love for my own father. Had I addressed Cali's father in the first book, as I did her grandmother, the outcome would probably have been different. But, I waited and while I waited my subconscious injected it's own bit of influence and I softened him a bit to reflect that love for my own father. In the end I think that the small curve in the road didn't hurt the story any. In fact, I think that it helped move the story along. It could have been a complete disaster. The book The Maine Reason is kind of a transition to begin with, so changing the basic make-up of a major character, was really risky.
It just goes to show that not every character needs to be based on someone you personally know. In fact, an author should strive to branch out and write characters based on other people as well. Not everyone in a story needs to be bigger than life. People in real life are not like that. Nearly everyone has a moment when they are bigger than life, but even rock stars don't live their entire life in the clouds. I guess what I'm saying is, it's okay to write a character that is boring. Not everyone can be in the spotlight. And sometimes, a lot of times, you need to take your main character and bring them out of the spotlight. I do that a lot with Cali. She doesn't just have down time, she digs a hole and goes in head first, when she has down time. She's not perfect. In fact she's really a shady character, but one that you love despite yourself.
Anyway, this is my take on character development today. If you're in doubt, ask yourself if the character feels real. Could such a person really exist, even in a fantasy story?
Live well and be good to each other.

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