So in my continued obsession with Grey’s Anatomy I have stumbled upon the Grey Matter blog (for those who are not familiar with this site let me enlighten you. It is apparently a blog kept by the writers of Grey’s Anatomy. The sort of explain what they intended the scenes to do when they wrote them vs. how they played out on screen. Being the over analyzing freak that I am I find this incredibly interesting.)
Anyways, back to my obsession, (it’s not really an obsession I just like the show and happened to stumble upon a link to this site I wasn’t even searching for it) the writer of the recent two part episode (Shonda Rhimes – "It’s the End of the World" "As We Know It") wrote about how she doesn’t think of the characters as characters, but as real people. That basically they have a mind of their own, and she just writes what they do, not what she wants them to do.
"I like to keep myself in a kind of stalker-ish fog in which I believe my characters aren’t characters but actual people. It’s how I can write them. " "…the characters are alive for me and thus, I can’t make them do anything against their will." – from Grey Matter.
I read that and my first thought was "exactly!" That is what I seem to do. When I write my characters feel like real people to me. I become attached to them. I feel like they are friends – family in an odd sort of way. I have found myself writing stories that I thought would go in one direction when I started, but as I wrote the characters took on their own lives and own personalities. They became their own selves and less about me. I found myself writing them doing things I didn’t always want them to do, but yet it was what felt right for them to be doing. Maybe Shonda Rhimes and I are both crazy, but I think that this is the ultimate goal of a writer. To make your characters so real that even you forget that they don’t really exist.