Tag Archive: Characters

Power of the Creative


A couple of days ago I woke to a social media feed filled with messages about what Stan Lee had meant to people from all over. I too added my voice to this. The worlds and characters he gave us spoke to so many and allowed many to realise they aren’t alone, that they can dream and achieve and that they should never let the naysayers have the last say.


Stan is not the only person to speak to the heart of people. I have just spent another fortnight volunteering at a pop culture convention and it seems to me that society needs its creatives for it is they who can speak to the heart of matters more freely than others can bring themselves to. It is the creatives who nuture hope and dreams in those of us who feel we don’t quite fit in with what  society says is acceptable.

Yes I am fortunate that I have met many actors whose work I admire but ultimately that is not the reason I do the conventions. My reason is family. Not blood family but family none the less.


My vollie family and regular con attendees have given me a place I feel welcome. I know this is not a feeling that solely belongs to me. Often those of us who feel we don’t quite fit, function just fine in ‘normal life’, we go to work we get on with our lives but at home we hide in worlds that come from other people’s minds. 

Characters show things we go through and this tells us we can’t be the only person struggling or experiencing something. Characters told me it was alright for girls to be smart, to be heard, to fight, to not be limited by what others say is acceptable behaviour, and that it is okay to break the mold. They let me know that perfect is a crock and life is messy but to be embraced in a manner that is true to self.


I sometimes wonder at the reactions of people when they meet the actors who play their favourite characters because I think surely it is the characters they love not the actors. I’ve never had the same visceral reactions that some fans have. (However I did have a total ‘ OMG that just happened moment’ when I was kissed by the gentleman who voices Optimus Prime – and it was more to do with the gentleman himself rather than me being a fan of the Transformers.) Even though I wonder I sort of understand, because when someone shows you that something is okay for you to feel or be, it is a powerful thing.


Personally my attachment is to characters rather than anyone who portrays that character. My attachments are a visceral thing; I swear at them, cry and laugh with them or because of them, I draw back into their worlds when I need to comfort myself, I become thoroughly invested in their lives. My goal as a writer is to create characters that other people like, or even better love. When I write it feels as though my characters talk to me. I don’t plan when I write, my characters tell me where they want to go. They are my friends. It seems natural to me that characters have life, they need life to speak to others. I only hope that in the course of putting words to paper that I do them justice.

I hope you’ll buy my books (Becoming and Steps to Destiny) at Amazon, {the links are Au but you can buy they from any region} if you haven’t already, but even if you don’t, do yourself a favour and buy someone’s book, go meet a new character today, you might be surprised at the outcome.

becoming kylie calwell book cover corrected 2400y.jpg         destiny kylie calwell 20180904_04.jpg


In-Love-with-a-Fictional-Character.pngThis is something I have done since I first began to devour books. When I was younger I wanted to be George from the Famous Five.


When I was about twelve I had a huge crush on Atreyu from The Never Ending Story, I balled my eyes out when Artax died in the Swamp of Sorrows.

0133735_42657_MC_Tx360.jpgLater various characters from Feist’s Midkemia filled my imagination. And who wouldn’t want Reilly’s Scarecrow to be their significant other or at least friend. I was never the sort to be swept off my feet by Mr Darcy and the love I felt for characters was mostly familial. I wanted them to be my friends. When I lacked friends in the real world I never lacked for them in my imagination. I would retreat from the teasing and hurt by venturing into other worlds;

Narnia, Crabapple Farm, River Heights, Kirrin Island, Ancient Egypt and the list goes on. I went on adventures with Pug and Thomas, Reepicheep, Tasslehoff Burfoot, solved mysteries with Nancy and Trixie.

Nancy-Drew-vintage-image.jpgAs I got older my tastes changed, but how I read and why I read didn’t. Mother would be a great laugh to hang with, in fact an afternoon spent with Eve and Roarke, Mother, Mercy, Adam and various surrounding players would be my idea of wonderful. On another day, Beka Cooper, Keladry, Annabeth, Caroline and I could all sit down over a civilised cheesecake and chocolate and right all the wrongs in the world, what a glorious day that would be.


It’s okay if you don’t know a lot of these names that’s your loss, but then you may have a list of names I wouldn’t recognise and that is fine too. Just like in real life we all like different people, so we are all drawn to different characters and stories.


Characters fill my head, mine and others. I often find them easier to relate to, less likely to cause me grief in any way. It was in these characters that I found acceptance to be me, as silly as it may sound. If girls, and women, such as these, who don’t comfortably fit into a mould, can have friends, family and success, then maybe I could as well. I never felt I fit, not really, but I did with my fictional friends.


Writing my own stories in some ways has been an extension of this love affair. I never set out to write Evayn as she is now, as the character she is becoming (see what I did there?) She started in fact as what my husband lovingly, or laughingly, referred to as, my naked amnesia chick. Holy heck she has come a long way. (There may be spoilers ahead but only little ones.) Now I know her so well I know when she will roll her eyes, bite her lip or bottle up all that is bothering her. I know that holding steel in her hand calms her and helps her think. I know the dragon in her confuses her and she struggles to embrace that fully, in a way she never struggled with that she inherited from her father. I know her dark places. I’ve been there with her and want nothing more than to be with her at the end of this adventure we are going on.

There are many characters in this world I’ve created whom I’ve become attached to. Some I’ve shed tears over and others I want to slap, I hope that means I’ve done a good job with them because those are the feelings I get when I deal with real people.

Reading led me to writing. Reading has always been a central part of who I am. For me it is something that provides a break to life and all the crap that can be found in it. I willingly say I rarely read non-fiction or literary work. I read to escape not to be reminded of that which actually surround me. Reading has given me people to love and despise without the need to actually interact with people, (and I am a person that a sometimes struggles with being around people). It is also a refuge and that is part of the end result of falling in love with a world and its characters. I have read some books over and over and yes even over (sometimes to the point of the book falling apart). Those books are my safe place to go. There are times when I want to close out the rest of the world and curl up with an old friend, it is like a safety blanket, warm, cuddly and comfortable. Safe.

As a writer I want to write a story people like, a character people love and if I can create a world that people want to return to then that would be my idea of success.

Though lots of book sales would also be an acceptable definition.


What The Hell

So I keep meaning to post, every Saturday was my goal. Then when I started working shift work I was aiming for once a week and somehow it looks like I skipped an entire month here.
So I repeat, what the hell happened to the weeks?
Anyway the upside is the writing has been going awesomely well. I practically get something done everyday, whether it be words on a page, a screen or editing. The book is shaping up nicely. I am totally loving my characters, and the story.
You know one of my favourite things is when my story surprises me, or a character does. Over the course of this writing push I’ve had characters I thought would only be brief appearances pop their hands up and make me realise their part is much bigger than I first envisaged.
I long to share my book with people, but I know it isn’t ready yet. I know I have a long road to still travel and you know what, I don’t care. I want it to be good when I get to share it. I want people to love it like I do.
I have a catch up with a publisher next week.
Yeah, you get that, I just had to throw that in somewhere. It may not mean anything, it may mean something.
I sent a message to this publisher, who had asked for a sample of my work and he hadn’t got back to me yet. Now this makes any writer stress, but I’m watching the company on line and it’s so busy at the moment, I certainly can’t begrudge him getting back to me. If I need to be massaged and propped up every step of the way I really am in the wrong business. So as it was a personal contact that got me through the door I tried the personal touch again. I sent an email asking if he was going to be at an event I will be attending. He got back to me the next day (which if you bear in mind I sent it around 11pm one night that’s almost straight away right?) He said he’d love to catch up. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? If he wanted to brush me off he’d have said ‘if you get a chance drop by’, or something equally nice.
Oh hell, it’s hard not to read too much into things at times.
Anyway, I have as many things crossed as I can, but not my eyes coz then I’d probably end up having an accident of some sort and that’s the last thing I need.
As always I’ll keep writing and let you know if there’s anything good to share, make that when there is something good to share.

A Writing Love

You know one of the things I really love about writing?

I love when you think you know what is going to happen next and something surprising happens instead. Or when you think you are writing a bit character and all of a sudden the words that appear on the page let you know that this character is much bigger than you originally thought.

Writing can be a surprise to the author and it’s such a fun thing to work through.

This week, or maybe last week I was writing about this mysterious character who had no name, he was there because when he appeared it was the perfect way to fill a gap that had been bugging me. As I wrote another scene with him in it my main character’s thought process appeared from my hand and I realised this character was the one to fill a much bigger gap than I had originally thought.

The problem then was I had to find a name for him. When he was just a bit character the name could come whenever and mattered only a little but with the change in role the name became more important. As I walked around at work throwing thoughts and ideas about this new direction around in my mind a name jumped out at me. The best thing was as soon as I thought it I knew it was the right name. It fit perfectly, why? I really couldn’t say I just know that it is the right name.

I don’t know if this sort of thing happens to those writers who are big planners but for me, it is one of the things I love about writing. I get such pleasure out of discovering my characters and their lives.