Thursday, November 16, 2017

War of Loyalties {invisible friends}


For the past several years, I like to call the War of Loyalties characters "my invisible friends". When you come to know me, sooner or later it's inevitable that you'll be introduced to them as well. I've hung out with them so long, we're kind of a package deal.

I taught a class on characterization recently, and one of the things I told the kids was that they should think of their character as a real person. Ben and Jaeryn and Charlotte are about as real as fiction gets. They're the invisible coworkers, showing up, shifting, changing, as my maturity or life experience shifts and change. They've never quit. We have rough days sometimes where the writer's block shows up and everyone's lazy, but overall, we have the biggest fun on the planet.

It's not surprising that they've gradually showed up more and more on the blog, and for the next couple of weeks I want you to be able to meet the process of War of Loyalties for yourself. I want to introduce you to a blonde-haired young woman with a tenacious dream of humble obscurity.  I want to tell you about some of the dreams that have come true with this story. I want to tell you how the Lord has answered prayer.

Living life with these characters stands out as the most golden experience of my post-highschool path.

The moment when one of your introverts finally decides to open up to a character interview on a Saturday morning.

That year you make a random run for apple pie and sporks to celebrate a character's birthday.

That year you finally find a song that encompasses two characters falling in love.

That moment when you watch a performance of Handel's Messiah, imagining a character sitting down there as concertmaster.

That year when your character changes from a philanthropic American medical student to an Irish doctor with crooked fingers.

The beautiful thing about a first book is that it's an unmatchable experience. You can take time to work it out. You can get to know the characters in an intimate, lengthy way that you might never have time for in later books. Seven years has been a long time, but I saw a meme on Facebook the other day that said after seven years a friend becomes family, and that really honestly feels like the truth.

I love all the things about the characters that would never fit into the book. My blackmailer with the streak of nobility in his soul. The way Jaeryn has a favorite sweater he reaches for that makes him think of memories and childhood. The way Ben runs his fingers through his wife's hair. The way Terry rolls up his sleeves when he's out in cold weather instead of putting a jacket on.

Some of them dream of freedom, and some of them dream of stability. Some of them dream of home, or marriage or living out a life of loyal service. Some of them dream of money or position or the supremacy of Britain. They've lived together so long they can rub each other wrong in big and little ways, and come together when it matters.

This is a celebration. After seven years, they deserve a celebration. We've lived so much life together, and we're almost at the end of the road.

For book one, that is.

We still have a lot of life left to live together--and I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather live it with.

Come back Saturday to meet on of the characters for yourself. I can't wait to introduce you, and you can meet all of them in official book form on November 30, 2017!

5 comments:

  1. Oh my heart. I understand this life with characters. I am so glad I found someone else who understands it, too. It is a rare jewel that few will know. Congratulations, Schuyler and friends. This is a wonderful time for you! I can't wait to meet these invisible/ink friends!

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  2. Wow. I can totally relate the preciousness of this. <3 You capture things in words so well! (Which is why I'm excited for your book ;D) Thanks so much for pursuing your invisible friends all the way to publication so we can get a taste of living with them, too! :)

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  3. Ohhh, yes. I'm nowhere near as close to unleashing my characters on the world, but you put it exactly right. I much prefer "invisible friends" to the usual "imaginary friends". Soon they won't be invisible to us anymore!

    Speaking of which, would it be possible for you to send me a print copy of WoL for reviewing on my blog? (I seem to remember asking this before, so I've probably just forgotten what you said, sorry.)

    https://ofdreamsandswords.wordpress.com

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  4. This post is beautiful and inspiring. I feel like I still have a long ways to go in getting to know my characters REALLY well, but I already feel like my life wouldn't be the same without them. <3

    I'm so excited for your book's publication. :D

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