Saturday, November 8, 2008


The internet died again yesterday. No warning, just like that. Last time this happened we wrote down the codes so we could fix it on our own, so I pulled out the TelMex folder and followed my instructions. Still nothing.

I called the company, who directed me to a different number, where an automated message said they were working on the problem. I called Ibis, who told me that the entire town was out. The entire town. Are we all hooked up to one line or something? I didn't realize an entire TOWN could lose their internet service.

Oh well, that started at noon yesterday. Ibis woke me up at 6am to tell me the internet was back - even though I was sleeping, I was really excited, trust me - and now here I am.

I'm sure you're all thinking, I hope you used the time to write, and yes dear readers, I did. I wrote my daily goal of 2000 words in those first couple hours without internet (WI), then after a movie break, wrote another 1300 words.

One thing I wanted to ask about - my story has three points of view: the father who protects his daughter, the daughter, and the wife of the attacker (aka the widow). The adult perspectives are pretty "normal" - I'm mostly dealing with grown up reactions to the events. But the teenager... she's really affected me. I've thrown a curveball and now she's dating the son of her attacker, but no one else knows it. So on top of her almost getting raped and her father killing the man, she's also dealing with strong feelings for her boyfriend.

When I say she's affecting me, I mean, I'm feeling that longing that only teenagers can feel. When you feel like the world is against you and you'll do anything to be with the person you love. I had to stop and watch a sappy movie guaranteed to make me cry (Romeo & Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio & Claire Danes - if you haven't seen it, make a point to). Even that didn't get it out of my system, but I did manage to move on to the next chapter.

Do your characters ever affect you that strongly? What do you do to keep going?


spyscribbler said...

Oh, wow, FINALLY! I'm the first one to comment! (Now watch someone sneak in and comment while I'm writing mine. :-)

I felt a lot of that when DH is gone. I'm still feeling like a whiny teenage girlfriend, because I still miss him. He's getting massive dental work done and has mostly been drugged and not in the mood to cuddle or anything else. *sigh*

It's good you feel the longing. Sometimes a character's feeling are so strong, I just don't feel up to them that day, and I end up procrastinating. They can put you through the ringer, you know? I sometimes have a lot of inner resistance to making that leap.

But it makes a good story!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, that's tough you have to go through that even though you're married. All that absence and heart nonsense... ;)

I'm glad to hear it's supposed to work this way. Both you and Erica posted about similar themes today, so I guess I'm not completely off base.

Robin said...

I didn't do it! I swear! I was kidding about being jealous! (Plus, why would I sabotage the whole town? That would be sadistic.)

My characters tend to be a bit like caricatures, so they don't bring out a lot of emotion. My MC is very like me, so she doesn't do it for me, either. I already know how she's going to feel. I don't have to tread into dark places.

Wonder where I came up with the word "tread"? Perhaps because your w.v. is "mitred" today!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, I completely forgot about your threat! Too funny. :)

I feel left out that I don't get a wv.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you: I'm affected by my characters all the time. For me it's pretty much always a good thing - I feel like it gives me that extra bit of insight that makes a scene neon instead of pastel, so to speak.

Very interesting situation for your teen character, BTW. =)

Jen said...


I know, not a very good answer. But it doesn't happen that often for me, and when it does, it's usually a sign to me that I'm getting too personal.

Different strokes for different folks, though. And some of my characters are most emphatically people I don't want to affect me that strongly. Not very nice people, some of them. Eww.

Rachel Burton said...

I was just listening to the soundtrack of that movie a few weeks ago and thinking I wanted to watch it again. I loved it!

And a whole town without internet? Yikes! Were people rioting in the streets? If Chicago ever lost internet, I can't imagine the chaos!

Turkey Lurkey said...

I would say that your feelings towards your character is proof that you are doing a great job with character development. It is hard for me to become attached to my characters because I usually know what will happen to them. Maybe I should be a more spontaneous writer.

colbymarshall said...

I did have a character in my last work I did cry over often, just because she was such a lovely, yet tragic kind of character at the same time. I definitely get very emotionally invested.

Melanie Avila said...

Amybai, welcome! Yes, her storyline is getting more complex the more I think about it.

Melanie Avila said...

Jen, with this story I don't have to empathize with the bad guy because he dies right away. It's the people he left behind that I feel for.

Melanie Avila said...

Rachel, it made me feel a LITTLE better knowing I wasn't the only one suffering. But you're right, Chicago would've gone crazy!

I have such a crush on the late-90s Leo, it's ridiculous. I'll have to watch Titanic next.

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, I like the way you think. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Colby, that makes me feel better. Not that your characters make you cry, but that I'm not the only one getting worked up over them.

It's weird, with my novel that's in edits, I felt for Mateo but he didn't really affect me. Now this 17 year old won't get out of my head!

spyscribbler said...

Wow, look at you! 16,000+!

Way to go!

I need to count mine up. It's kinda scattered in three docs.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks. Of course, that was Friday and I was three days ahead. I didn't write anything yesterday, and now it's Sunday and I'm only one day ahead again. I'm at 17K + now, so it's coming along... :)

Three documents? I have a hard time writing anything other than linear, so I don't know how you keep track of it all!

Billy said...

I've had a few characters affect me, but I try to do a little mental kung fu. I just duck, get out of the way, and keep writing. I figure I'm on the right track when a character comes alive so vividly, so I try to stay in the zone and count myself lucky to be a writer. THat having been said, I can also identify with the need to get away and find some distance. (My replies sometimes are being duplicated by Blogger--sorry if this is happening.)

Melanie Avila said...

Billy, well said. :)