I don’t remember if it was an article I read or simply a comment on Facebook or Twitter, but someone made the point that just because a character is saying something does not mean that it reflects the views or opinions of the author.
I’ll admit, this is something I’ve worried about. For example, one of the antagonists in the first book could very will be misinterpreted as some kind of social statement on my part. I’m here to tell you, it’s not. I write books to entertain, to tell a story, to create characters. I am in no way trying to inflict any sort of world views or insult anyone. I haven’t received any notes or indications that readers believe I am, but it’s something that’s been on my mind recently.
Last night, I was working on my #NaNoWriMo project and one of my characters used the word, “Bimbo.” I’ve never really given the word very much thought before other than to think it’s kind of funny, which might be an insult to my gender, but whatever. For the first time, I stopped and thought, “Well, maybe I shouldn’t use that word…” Then I thought back to that article and reminded myself, “Hey. You’re not the one using that word. It’s your character. You might not use that word, but she totally would.”
Being a writer is weird. It’s like having a hundred different people inside your head at the same time. You have to think like all of them in order to create a believable world and story. The weirdest part, perhaps, is that you’re able to. You can’t think about how you’d react in a situation. You have to think about how your character would react. It’s fun. It gives you the opportunity to be someone else for a little while. But it’s still weird.