Help. I think my characters are real.

Michael's and Annabelle's Annapolis: On the Chesapeake Bay. Photo taken by Yours Truly.


I just need a few more dedicated hours to finish the final edits of my novel. I’ve worked hard to make Michael’s voice sound like a man. My stellar editor Cheryl Klein’s final comments to me were that Michael’s voice needs to sound a little different from Annabelle’s voice, even though they are soulmates. I’ve been playing with his thoughts and dialogue to make him sound the way I want him to sound. And I do want him to sound different than Annabelle.

The other day I was driving in Annapolis, one of the settings where my novel takes place, and I turned to my husband as we passed Pendennis Mount and said, “Look! That’s where Michael and Annabelle live.” From their house, they can see the Naval Academy; they go boating on the Severn River; they go to pubs in town…

Wait! Stop! Somebody slap me because I think my dad and husband may be right: I’m happiest living in a fantasy world. I think my characters are real.

The truth of the matter is, when you write characters, a part of you is in them, even if the character isn’t you or isn’t based on you. However, you’ve created them. That old adage “write what you know” is true; I’ve written a novel that is based on things, places, and the actions of people, not necessarily people that I know. But it’s tantalizing; the evolution of the character combined with my imagination are so intense, I begin to believe in them.

I’ve lapsed into a state of fantasy. I love the “romance” of my characters. I love the conflict and angst they go through. And, I love the way they work through their problems, though it takes years.

I just love them.

I hope they invite me for Thanksgiving dinner.


  • Maribeth

    Hi Steph, I don’t mind living in the fantasy world either. It’s funny how are characters are as real to us as a child’s imaginary friend.

    Thank you for visiting my blog. Stop back later I will have a new post up and it also has to do with characters.

    Have a great day,


  • Stacey

    Just catching up on your blog. Can;t wait until your book comes out. I know I will read it on the kindle. I need to return the hard copy to you.

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