Thursday, March 31, 2011

A is for Alphonse

Dear Alphonse,

Usually, my letters to you are not very happy. Most of them consist of me being exasperated at you, but I thought I should write a letter to thank you. You have now been my character for over a year, and your story has been a long, long journey.  You are not the only character I have written that has an "A" name—I can think of at least six others—but I am writing this letter to you because you were probably the most difficult of all of them.

It took a long time before your voice really "clicked" in my head.  It was difficult for me to understand you in a lot of ways, and you and your scientific brain made me learn things that I had never thought about before. You made me learn that most frogs have a critical thermal maximum that very likely renders the "frog in boiling water" analogy unsuccessful in practical application. (You made me write sentences like that! *points at last sentence*) You made me learn what a trogloxene is. Plus, you have this extreme dislike for fiction books, and that probably accounts for a lot of initial confusion between us.

You went through some awful and unpleasant things in our first book together, but you came to see the world outside of your cozy bubble.  I will admit that I was extremely gleeful about shoving you into every single situation that could make you uncomfortable.  You started out on your journey with uncertainty and came to the end with courage to confront the unknown. You learned how to be a friend and you showed me that you can see the beauty in others' scars.

I have no idea what will come of your story. But I love you for being different, and for being frustrating to write at first, and for being amazing when it came down to dealing with the deep, horrible pain of people around you. I look forward to writing the sequel to your story and seeing how much more you grow before it's all over.

Thank you for helping me grow as a writer and for pushing me out of my comfort zones in so many ways.

With Gratitude,
Your Author

*Question for everyone: What character(s) have you written or read that have impacted you in unexpected ways?


  1. Poor Alphonse. He must think 'Oh no, what now?' every time he sees you coming.

    Moody Writing Blog

  2. I like that. I've never created a character it must be fun. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. Oh, gee, what are you going to do for "X"? ;-)

    This is adorable.

    Plus, you have this extreme dislike for fiction books, and that probably accounts for a lot of initial confusion between us.


  4. Sounds like he took/is taking you on quite a journey.

    I've written characters that I've suddenly realized are based on myself. Can be some startling self-realizations in that. Not always a feel good moment.

  5. Oh, this was cute! I like this angle.

  6. I love the name Alphonse. Great idea to write to your character!

  7. Interesting question. I think the characters I write tend to represent changes I've gone through. As you follow them through their character arc its quite enlightening as an author to see that change.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  8. Love it! (And now I will go write thank you letters to MY characters. Seems only right. After all, we put them through horrors, don't we?) I'm an A to Zer dropping by. Nice to meet you.

  9. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Best Books Blog Award.

    Go to and pick up your award.

  10. I adore letters to characters. (I know I've written a few to my unruly characters in the past.)Protagonists can frustrate you sometimes and other times make you so happy that you chose this writing thing.

  11. Hey Laura ~~ I really enjoyed this post ! Sounds like the proverbial love-hate relationship between creator and createe (is there such a word?)


  12. What a fun exercise. I should try this with my own characters. When I think about a book that has influenced me a lot, I think about Heart's in Atlantis by Stephen King. One of the characters in this book spends his life trying to atone for his youth. It was haunting to me (although not one of my favorite King books).

  13. mood-I'm sure at this point, he is very exasperated (and very wary) whenever he sees me, yes. ;)

    Eliza-Characters are fun. Frustrating and exhausting at times, but fun. :) Thanks for stopping by!

    Faith-Hm, what shall I do for X? O:-) :D

    Tamara-Oh, yes, he's taken me on a lot of journeys. And it's funny--because even though he's not based on me at all, I read back over some things I had written for him and had some realizations about current situations I was going through. Must have been there subconsciously. :)

    Hart-Thank you! ^_^

    Raquel-It is interesting to see what comes of character journeys and how they relate to our own journeys.

    Eileen-Thanks for coming by! And I hope you have fun writing letters to characters--I find it very therapeutic. ;)

    Deirda-Thank you so much for coming by and for the award! I will definitely put it on my blog and link back to you as soon as I get tabs situated on my blog this weekend. :)

    Nia-Exactly! I love being a writer, even if I want to throttle my characters sometimes.

    Michelle-Thank you! LOL, it was mostly love-frustration, but I think we've come to a better understanding of each other. ;) (Createe could totally be a word. If nothing else, you could just write it into your dictionary and declare it one. ;))

    Kari-It's a lot of fun and very therapeutic to write letters to characters. :D I've never read Hearts in Atlantis, but maybe I should add it to my TBR list. Sometimes characters I read are like that, too--they stay with me forever after, even if it wasn't my favorite book.

  14. Just finding your blog from the Challenge, and Wow I am impressed! You are one prolific writer! I look forward to more here *waves and grins*


  15. Ma in Room, by Emma Donoghue. And Jack, the five-year old. Both of those characters really stuck with me for a long time.

    Fun post, Laura!

  16. Alphonse sounds like a difficult yet rewarding character (/experience). :) Happy writing!!

  17. Great Blog! I love the idea of letters to characters - such a great discovery tool as well. Maybe in a few years I'll have enough characters in the stable to attempt something like this for the A-Z challenge!
    I have a character I keep being drawn to - He's a downright detestable fellow, but for some reason, I can't stop thinking about him. The deeper I get into edits, I think I'm seeing more and more of myself in him, and it makes me wonder if maybe I'm the detestable fellow? Either way, he's a hoot to write!
    Love the blog - Will be following, and looking forward to more letters!

  18. Karen-*grins and waves back* Thanks so much! I don't feel very prolific...a little bit "Ahh, what am I doing?" but that's okay. ;) Thanks for stopping in!

    Kate-I've heard of that book and read a bunch of reviews for it, but haven't read it yet. I was a little leery, but maybe I should add it to my TBR pile and give it a shot. Thank you!

    Alexis-He really is! Thank you so much!

    Mickey-I've always found writing letters to characters to be very therapeutic. I don't think all of the blog posts will be letters to characters for the challenge--I planned to do letters to some thoughts/ideas/things I like/etc...but goodness knows I have enough characters that I probably could! Your detestable character sounds fascinating--it's always so interesting to see where a character starts out and then the things we learn about them--and ourselves--as we write. Good luck with writing him, and with your blog challenge!

  19. this makes me want to meet Alphonse!

  20. Great post!

    Sandor Clegane, also known as The Hound, from the "A Song of Ice and Fire Series" was the most surprising character to me. When we meet him he is a huge brute with a scarred face and a bad attitude. We soon learn there is more to him. He is the most honest character I've ever met and by far one of my favorite (if not my favorite) in all of literature!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!