Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, time for another post in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group with the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for February, Stephen Tremp and Julie Flanders. Alex created this group to allow us writers a way to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. We post the first Wednesday of every month. If you’d like to join us, click on the title above and sign up. Even if you don't want to join us, feel free to visit a few blogs from the list, and leave a comment. Your words might be just the encouragement an insecure writer needs.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned those ten words over 150 year ago, yet they are still lovingly uttered today. It seems appropriate in the month of February to discuss the subject of love, but my question today isn't love for me, but love for the heroine in my story.

Like most authors I have spent countless hours, days, weeks and years, with her. Cajoling and coaxing her to life. Listening to her problems and fears. Transforming her from an idea in my head to (what I hope is) a full-fledged character alive within the pages of my book. After all this blood, sweat, and tears, to say I love her is an understatement. The question is, will the readers love her?

Will they think her funny and witty as I do? Will they worry about her and feel the need to keep turning the page? Will they feel her discomfort and root for her all the way to the bitter end? Will they love her to the depth and breadth and height their (my) soul can reach.  Will they love her with their (my) childhood's faith? Will they love her with the breath, smiles, tears of all their (my) life? Will they love her like I do?

I don't proclaim to posses any of the talent of Ms. Browning. I just hope that I have created a character that can generate a smidgen of the love with my audience as she has with hers.


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How are you feeling this month?


Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Hi Jenn,
I appreciate your visit to my blog, and all the best with your continued efforts in writing!
Duncan In Kuantan

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love that poem - I studied it at school.

I always worry about my characters - they're like little babies that I want to protect from the harsh glare of readers' criticism. Sometimes you just have to hope they're strong enough to cope by themselves.

Charmaine Clancy said...

That is a brilliant poem. Nailing the perfect character for your story is tricky but wonderful when it happens.

T. Drecker said...

It is a wonderful poem. Characters are our children. I guess that makes us worry about them like a mother... for all it's highs and lows.

mooderino said...

Finding out whether others are into what you've written is a always a tense moment, even though it's just an opinion. Great when it's a thumbs up, painful when it isn't. Both are valuable experiences for writers, though.

Moody Writing

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Duncan, thanks for the visit and the well wishes.

Annalisa, I do think of them as my children. I hope I've raised them strong.

Charmaine, Ms. Browning didn't have any problem in the character *nailing* part. I hope I don't either.

T. Drecker, my thoughts exactly.

Mooderino, very true. We grow both ways, one is just less painful than the other.

Yvonnes Poetry Corner said...

Loved the poem, most enjoyable.


Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Jenn, thanks for the follow, I am a new follower here.

I loved the poem, read it in a Mary Higgin's Clark book.

M.J. Fifield said...

I worry about the same things with my heroine(s). I think they're very fierce and funny, but will my readers agree? I can only hope.

And that poem has long been one of my favorites.

Lexie C. said...

I imagine that releasing your beloved character to the world is a lot like sending your child out into the world, hoping that they will be successful, loved and appreciated as much as you know they should be. It's heart-wrenching but what a blessing to the world- or at least the ones fortunate enough to read and come to love your character!
Wonderful post! :)

Susan Roebuck said...

We all worry about our main characters. I do too. I always have faulty characters and am scared others won't like them. We're always told to have likeable m/cs aren't we? I'm sure your heroine is wonderful :-)

michelle said...

This is an appropriate pos/poem for the month of love.

michelle said...

... sorry about the typo... it should be post/poem...

E. Arroyo said...

Wow...a blast from the past. I had to memorize this in high school and recite it in front of the class. That was an experience. =)

Julie Luek said...

Great tie-in with the month. I'm speculating here, but my guess is readers will love your heroine because she is infused with your heart and love.

Meredith said...

I really hope my readers love my MC as much as I do. It's definitely something I worry about!

Tonja said...

I bet everyone will connect with her as much as you do.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks Yvonne. I'm sure you truly appreciate great poetry.

Welcome Rachna! I'm also a Mary Higgins Clark fan.

M.J., I'm hoping right along with you.

Lexie, thank you. What a dream come true for my readers to feel fortunate when reading my work.

Susan, thank you. Oddly enough, I think she is too :)

Michelle, thanks. I agree with you.

E. Arroyo, this poem seems to be a H. S. favorite.

Awww, Julie, you made my day!

Meredith, take Julie's advice. I think it fits all of us.

Tonja, thank you. That is my heart's desire.

nutschell said...

love that poem!!!Reminds me of my High School English classes.


Sherry Ellis said...

As writers, we always worry if readers will love our characters as much as we do. I think if we love them, others will, too!

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

Just based on this sample writing of yours, how you draw the reader into your words, the description of how you write and your love for your characters, (which I'm sure is how many of us writers feel about our characters), I'd be darned interested to read!

Jess Schira said...

Creating the perfect character is so important and so difficult. If you don't nail them, the whole story falls apart.

This is just my opinon, but I think if you love your character as much as you clearly do, that emotion should jump off the pages and capture the reader as well.

Best wishes.

Beth said...

Tired! Sick today and my little baby won't stop screaming!!! OMG!! Thanks for stopping by.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Nutschell, I've noticed the H.S. connection.

Sherry, I like the way you think.

Nancy, thank you! I want to telepathically transform your thoughts into the minds of my future readers :D

Jess, Yes! Emotions jumping off the page and grabbing my readers. Love it!

Beth, I remember those days. You are a trooper for being here! Wishing you more quiet moments and a lot of sleep.

Magical Mystical MiMi said...

One of my very favorite poems.. And I too hope that everyone will see my characters for the people they have become through my writing.. If not, I feel I haven't done my job.

Yolanda Renee said...

February is the month of/for love. Valentine's Day is my anniversary, feeling wonderful and getting Josh Groban's new release, what's not to love!

Great poem!

Morgan said...

Ahhh... lovely post! Thanks for this, Jenn!

And how am I feeling? Hmm... stressed??? LOL! :D

Cathy Keaton said...

Very awesome post! I love how you used this famous love poem and worked it into your topic.

I feel just as worried as you about how my characters will be received by readers. Will they love them enough to want to read about their lives for however long I decide to write about them?

Perhaps because we worry, we are more careful about how we write them.

Nicole said...

I agree - I hope readers fall in love with my characters, 'cause I sure loved writing them. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Like a real person, not everyone will relate to her or like her, but if you've poured everything you can into her, then plenty of people will like her.

Stephen Tremp said...

I just let my characters go. Let them fight for face time in my books. They will develop themselves. That's what I found.

ANd thanks for posting the Nat'l Wormhole Dat Blog Hop badge!

Mark Koopmans said...


I have the same fear - and I haven't even started WIP#2 yet (WIP#1 is a memoir:)

Sounds like you've put your heart into your book - and I'm sure your "love" will find true love amongst the readers :)

Cafe au lait said...

It's a beautiful poem.

I played too. Mine are here and here.

Lexa Cain said...

I agree - it's awfully hard to make readers fall in love with characters. We just muddle along and do the best we can. :-)

Kirsten said...

It is so hard to send characters out into the world after we've spent all that effort bringing them to life!
I think the fact that you've spent so much time with your heroine and love her so dearly is a testament to how real she will become to your readers. I'm looking forward to reading her story and getting to know her!

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful post! I think, as in love, we must just take the chance and put our stories out there for the world to read. If even one person falls in love with it, it's worth it.

M. J. Joachim said...

When your heart and soul is poured into it, you simply can't go wrong. Just don't over think it, because that always causes trouble.

Old Kitty said...

I feel your love for her and so want to meet your amazing character! I think if you are passionate about your words this will transmit to your readers and that can only be a great and wonderful thing! Yay for you!

Yay for Ms Browning's words of love too! Take care

Lynda R Young said...

The most you can do is your best, but I think a part of a writer's lot is to worry ;)

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