My Characters Made Me Cry

Posted on February 1, 2007

My characters from Book 2 of the rabbi series made me cry last night. I’m not normally one for tears, so this was fairly significant.

Husby jokes that I have a sadistic streak, that I get some perverse pleasure out of making their lives not only difficult but sometimes downright impossible. I have a slightly different view. I ask them to give something of themselves that they’re not sure they have. I know they can, but I created them, after all. I know just how far I can push them. But they don’t know, and growth is often painful.

Last night I finished writing a major scene, the big near-book-end conflict. I’ve been imagining this playing out for the past couple of weeks, though I wasn’t sure about the details. This far through a book, I have a general outline (I work from a real calendar) but leave the specifics up to the writing process. Last night’s scene didn’t happen anything like I thought it would.

I didn’t think anyone was going to die.
I didn’t think there’d be quite so many injuries.
I thought a different character was going to bring about the resolution.

At the end of the scene, I literally wanted to hold them. I wanted to apologize for putting them through what I did, but at the same time explain why it was necessary. I didn’t get the chance.

Because before I could do anything, they reached out to each other.

And I cried.


  1. Jack Steiner

    Just a little remodeling. Just moved back in. 😉

  2. Sheyna

    The true test is whether or not I’ve created the opportunity for readers to feel the same thing. I hope so! Not that I want to induce weeping in my readers, but…

    So what’s with the change in name? Where’d the “shack” go?

  3. Jack Steiner

    It makes sense to me. You created them, you feel them in a way that no one else can.

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