Hi, there! Liz Johnson here!
A new girl started at work this week. She's a little younger than me. Kind of new to the professional world. And in my position, I work with her mom. So I've tried to make a point to reach out to her. She's brand new to the city, and I thought she might want a friend, as I sure know what it's like to start over in a new city.
So the other day, I invited her to lunch. I said I'd like to hear about how she ended up here. She said, "I'm not that interesting. I hear you wrote a book."
"Yes," I said. "I did write a book, but that doesn't make me any more interesting than anyone else."
She laughed it off. And like the writer I am, I analyzed it to death. I tried to look at it from every angle, but for the sake of this blog, I came up with one question: Are interesting people by nature interesting, or are they interesting because they do interesting things? Am I interesting because I've written a few books ... or would I be interesting even if I'd never written a word?
I personally like to think that the interesting person comes before the book. I have a hard time imagining any writer as not interesting. Introverted? Perhaps. Boring? Never!
And, of course, I wondered how this applies to characters in my books.
That is to say, is it more important what happens to a character or how the character reacts to what happens? I suppose that literature enthusiasts would say that the difference is what editors call character-driven vs. plot-driven. I think it's a debate that will rage on ... But I suppose the real question is: what kind of story do you prefer?