Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Girls CAN Cry

Even though I have an English degree and have worked in publishing forever, I love to attend writing classes so I can learn what's new. It also reminds me of stuff I've forgotten. Just a while ago, I was in a writing workshop where the leader told us that the heroines in our stories should never cry.

That kinda caught me off guard. How realistic is a character who doesn't show emotion?

But the workshop leader was serious. She told us that our heroines could grimace; but they couldn't flinch. Our heroines could duck; but they couldn't run. Our heroines could think about sorrow; but they could never ever cry.

Now, I'm a fantasy writer. My heroines are strong chicks, but once in a while, the stress and loss is enough to make one of them cry. I'm usually weeping on the keyboard right along with them, by the way. Does this make the heroine weak? (or me?) It doesn't happen often, mind you, but it happens when necessary.

Personally, I think it makes her more realistic. I think it makes her more human. I think it makes her more likeable. If the character Chariss in my Choices series never broke down and cried, I think my audience would start to doubt her credibility and her heart. That means I'm at least one writer who's not afraid to let the heroine cry.

From Sandy Lender
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."


Zemmzemm said...

I am a writer that will agree with what you say. I also believe that characters need emotion, or else they don't feel as real.

My english teacher always said: "You have to be scared to then be brave,"

She was right! Bravery is an act of courage, a strong-hearted will to step up against your own fears.

Thanks for sharing this post!



Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

Sandy, I absolutely agree with you! How ridiculous to think a reader could identify with a character who's so cold and stoic she refuses to cry when her mate dies. I'm with you--when my character cries, I am, too. After all, it's a human emotion and our characters are human, too.

Karina Fabian said...

I think your instructor had a different agenda than good storytelling.