I agree with… Hilary Mantel [again]

Hilary MantelWhen you are writing, your characters are flickering constructs, they are always on the move. It’s much more like people you know well in real life. You are not looking at them fixedly every moment to judge their features, what you do have is a general impression of them, of their energy.”
[From ‘Wolf at the Stage Door’, an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, December 8, 2013]

Hilary Mantel

[photo: John Haynes for HarperCollins]

I didn’t get this when I first started writing fiction. Looking back at some of my early characters in short stories, they were a bit paint-by-numbers. Clunky. It took me a while to let them do what they wanted to do. This was partly my thing about planning, about control. I knew where the plot was going, so the character would do ‘this’. Unfortunately for my plans, my character actually wouldn’t have been caught dead doing ‘this’. She wanted to do ‘that’. I learned to let my characters be themselves.

‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel [UK: Fourth Estate]

If you agree with Hilary Mantel, perhaps you will agree with:-
James McAvoy – good writing has to come first
Caitlin Moran – reading is not a passive act
Amanda Hockingwrite a lot, but read even more

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
I agree with Hilary Mantel: when you are #writing your characters are flickering constructs http://wp.me/p5gEM4-JV via @SandraDanby