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Creating Believable Characters: A Master Class

I mean, if you think about it, She can be anywhere, God can,
And so She might have taken a class with the Writing Teacher
Who says Make your characters suffer. Threaten them 
With death. Challenge their views of themselves, of the world. 
Pull the rug out from under their feet so they hit the floor hard
And sprawl there afraid for a time to stand up again. Hold knives
To their throats, guns to their heads. Watch them cringe. See 
What your characters do then, what they say. Make them real
By making them suffer.

God is 
The quintessential storyteller after all, is She not? who has created 
Characters, setting, conflict, tone, story world 
And perhaps the Writing Teacher said to God as he did to me, waving
The pages of story in my face, Nothing really happens
To your character. She’s just sitting there comfortable 
On the pages, isn’t she, taking up space, wasting 
Your readers’ time. Make something bad
Happen to her.

Yes, I think it must be so—
That God and I had the same Writing Teacher, a short,
Smirking little man who was about to come out
With another metaphysical novel in which, I’m sure,
He made unspeakable things happen to his characters,
Tortured them with all the meanness he could muster,
Pinned them down squirming to the pages.
So when God half-raised Her hand and said… uncertainly,
A pandemic maybe?  the Writing Teacher was gleeful.
Perfect, he said.

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