For anyone who has read my blog in its entirety over the years knows that I live in constant pain. Short and sweet, I have a 6th lumbar vertebra where there should be 5. Basically the top popped off of the sacrum to create this. That means that the pelvis can’t attach properly creating instability and, therefore, pain. And lots of it! I get pain in my legs during bad weather; I can’t sit for extended periods of time because it makes it worse.
Today, it’s raining outside. My pain is nearly off the charts for me and, yet, I have to go to work shortly.
When we write characters, we often give them the opposite of what we have (or don’t have). I have never given my characters pain. I don’t think it’s fair to them to go through life with pain. And why not? Many of us live in pain! For me, it’s part of me. There are many things I can’t do and even more things I shouldn’t do but it’s hard when you’re in your early 40s to not do some things. And yet I don’t even want to go grocery shopping right now!
Confessions in the Mural is the first character I thought I would try to go with Rheumatoid Arthritis. No, I’m not trying to be cruel. It’s a disease that has many more treatments than it used to. It starts off gradually in most cases and it goes into remission here and there. I thought of it because they are going to struggle with the thought of having another baby meanwhile she just had a baby six weeks before the book begins. So timing becomes an issue. Could she and should she take the risk of getting pregnant again? Sometimes it’s fun being a nurse and a writer… I get to do this with very little research!
We don’t “give” our characters issues because reading is fantasy. People read to escape reality. When I write, I do the same thing. I don’t want to my reality. I live my reality every single day of my life. I don’t want to put that in my books because, as a reader, I know the world doesn’t want to read about that.
What things don’t you give your characters? Money problems? Pain?