|Margaret Laurence looking untouchable.|
I fell in love with all of my characters at different points when I was writing. I was thinking about that this morning and wondering whether that needs to happen when writing a novel. I was really pleased when an editor told me she thought Emil was "hot." I thought so, too. Same thing with Vern. And I loved Rita when she first appears. To me, she's so capable and competent and untouchable, in a fierce, independent way. I heard Eden Robinson say once that her characters sometimes go off and do their own thing. Rita was like that. I had ideas for her and her role in Maggie and Jenny's lives. But at some point I realized that she had ideas of her own. Then, as the people you love best do sometimes, she began to frustrate the hell out of me. She becomes emotionally self-destructive, and stubborn to boot. Her untouchability becomes a liability and she won't listen to reason (from me or anyone else). Still, I love her. But I hate her a bit, too.