Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Day in the Life

Hello dear readers,
Who am I? What do I share with you and what do I keep private? Well, I'm not going to really tell you that am I? Am I? Over at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist....
there is a post on friendship and it got me to thinking about things. How soon do we expose those vulnerable parts of ourselves (NO - not those vulnerable parts you silly) to the people in our lives. As some of you know, I'm an airforce brat. We moved every three years or so. My way of dealing with this was to learn how to make friends fast and furiously - go quickly to the deep stuff. It has been helpful in my life - I have more than any person's share of amazing friends and we all take care of each other - nothing superficial about it. But my protagonist is a cop - she must make friends in a different way - she was brought up differently than me and she is constantly meeting people who aren't trying to go deep - quite the oppposite. They are trying to stay hidden from her. I need to think about how this affects her day to day.
How does this work with you all - especially you writers. I know lots of you are introverts (check Elizabeth S-C's post of yesterday) but really how does it work with your protagonists or with yourself? I look forward to hearing.


Michele Emrath said...

My protagonist does not make friends easily. He is relatively pleasant on the outside--no immediate enemies upon meeting him--but he keeps his secrets closely guarded and lets no one in. Even the people he loves most (the only people he loves) don't know his secret.

As for me, I am an extrovert with serious needs for solitude at least once a day--and a major dose of it every month or so. I don't always get that solitude, but I need it.

I also find it hard to make friends as an adult. Now that we have kids and jobs and responsibilities, people become closed off and wrapped up. We moved here 5 years ago, so we don't have long-standing relationships in the community, but (and I sware we're nice people) we find it hard to get close to other couples, no matter how hard we try! I think this is a major problen for many adults, and I wish I could cite some articles right now.

Love the picture!


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I write about people who are a lot more outgoing than I am. If I wrote people like me, then no one would want to read the book! There would be far too little interaction to make it interesting.

Most of my friends (and I don't have very many, I'll admit) are extroverts who pull me out of the house. I think I use their qualities to create my characters.

My Myrtle Clover protagonist is fairly introverted...but she's also nosy. And the nosiness forces her out of her house and into adventures. :)


L. Diane Wolfe said...

My latest MC is an extrovert, but not interested in making friends.

I guess I've been in public eye often enough, I tend to keep private stuff private. But once I begin to know someone, I'm fairly open.

Interesting - my husband was an AF brat he took the opposite approach. Why make close friends when one will just have to leave them behind?

Jan Morrison said...

Michele - yep, me too - love folks, love solitude! Makes for interesting assumptions from others and I hope it makes me understanding of the extremes of both! And man oh man, am I aware that difficulty making friends is rampant in today's world! It comes up in therapy quite often. I wish it were more like when we were kids -"what time do you have to go to bed? Wanna be friends?" was pretty much it as I recall. I'm pretty close to that now come to think of it - sometimes it puts people off but mostly it works!
Elizabeth - I can see them pulling you out of your house - "no - leave me alone - I want to write!" I have to confess that the weather in these parts gets me in my work chair - I don't go out much in the winter - I hate driving snowy roads and I never feel like doing anything once the sun goes down! I'm afraid if I lived in the south I'd be out with Myrtle every day - eating barbeque and drinking mint juleps (I know, I know - I have this romantic and rather hungry view of the south!) and of course, I'd be right by to drag you out!!
Diane - I'm intrigued by an extravert who isn't into making friends! But you knew I would be. As to your husband, I know quite a few af brats who took that approach. Who knows why we do what we do?!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm an introvert who loves people individually or in small groups but hates crowds. As writers, we need to be around people in order to understand how to write characters and dialogue.

The main character in my wip is more introvert than extrovert. She's suspicious of new people, but when she decides to trust them, she is blind to clues they may not deserve it. As a result, she is often disappointed.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Jan, when you leave a comment at my blog, I cannot jump right to your profile by clicking on your name. It takes me to a blogger page that says your profile is not available. You might have a privacy setting that needs to be changed so we can follow you home after you leave a comment. :)

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Patricia - I'll look into that - and start asking others?? I want it to be easy to get to me not hard!

Jan Morrison said...

Fixed it!
Thanks again Patricia - I had no idea.

Stacy Post said...

Great topic, Jan! I'm an introvert in my private life but fairly extroverted in the work environment. I think friendships are hard for me at first, but once I like you...I pretty much like you for life. I'm always looking for ways to find common ground, even with people I don't always understand. I'll bet your cop character has to either put analysis/suspicions aside to make true friends, or she'll have to develop friendships slowly. Maybe you should talk to some lady cops and see what they have to say?

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm naturally shy, but fake it well :)

My MCs both have trust issues. The male is more extroverted and confident. The female is shattered and covering it with a tough shell. Neither is naturally shy, so it's fun for me!

Jan Morrison said...

Jemi- are you? Good faker! I think my MC has trust issues too - her's arise more from being from a very priveledged family when she isn't interested in living that life. And her husband - who she is splitting from - turns out to be quite weak. Plus, it is very hard finding a nice confident guy when you're an RCMP rapidly rising through the ranks. Nothing like my life really - except I did have a hard time finding a good guy but that was because I was OLD and TALL and a BIG MOUTH. There - secrets shared, we can all relax now.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Most of the time, I take forever to make friends, but just that once in a blue moon, I meet someone with whom I connect instantly.
I actually find it easier to make friends in the virtual world, because then you can get to the essentials much faster.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Natasha - I think you're right - it is somewhat easier and I think that it is somewhat less dangerous too in that if we feel a rebuff it is easy to disappear - we aren't required to work it out. And there are the pleasures of being in a body - for instance I doubt many of us would exchange our partners or children for virtual ones - we like to touch and hug and see the light in our loved ones' eyes. I would so like to go over to your home and have tea with you and hear your laugh!

Michele Emrath said...

You're right! Childhood was an easier time to make friends. That's probably why my closest friendships now started back then. But there are also pitfalls that I am looking forward to (not) when my children begin lasting friendships. Kids can be cruel, too. Oh, that we were all children's literature characters!