Things I’ve Learned About Writing Pt. 2

Sharon Cameron
I first met Sharon a little over a year ago when I attended one of Ruta’s events. (There’s Ruta again! lol) I was so flustered by meeting Ruta, who I had been talking to through email for a few months, that I completely blanked on everything else. So when Ruta tried to introduce me to Sharon and tell me all about her book, I was too busy grabbing swag to giveaway on here to actually understand what was happening. So when Sharon politely told me the title of her book a million times because I kept writing it down wrong (The Dark Winding, The Dark and Unwinding, The Darkness Winding) I wasn’t thinking much of it besides, Oh what a good friend Ruta is, promoting her friends book at her own event.

Sharon and I at SCBWI

The event was in December 2011 and a few months later in (about) February 2012 I emailed Sharon saying something like, Hey, you probably don’t remember me, but I am that crazy blonde girl who was a total mess at Ruta’s signing. She emailed back saying she remembered me. (It was probably the crazy that did it because everyone else was so composed. lol) That was when my love affair with The Dark Unwinding began. It is also when I learned another very valuable lesson.

My main character is a female girl of 15 (She turns 16 in the story) and I wanted nothing more than to make her a strong character. Not just physically, but in all aspects of her life. I had a plan for her and that did not involve showing any weaknesses. I wanted a girl that I could be proud to have my younger cousins look up to.

While I was reading The Dark Unwinding I fell in love with the character of Katherine. While I was reading I knew this would be a book to recommend to my teenage (and younger) cousins as a really good example. Katherine has a very strong personality, but what I love about how Sharon Cameron portrayed her is that she has tremendous growth throughout the book. I said this online a while ago, but since Twitter has a character max I am not sure if it came out right. I said that I loved Katherine because she shows weakness. Yes. If that means that at times Katherine is weak then that is what I am trying to say.

It’s not to say that Sharon wrote a weak character. To the contrary the character of Katherine is all the more stronger because she was weak at times. That is real. That is life. Even the strongest person is going to have moment’s where they question everything and it was so great to get to read that in the book.

That was something that I was missing. If my protagonist is always strong at everything she does and never shows any weakness then eventually it’s not strength anymore. It’s arrogance. Something like that would have her making stupid decisions, not thinking things threw, and becoming the type of person that I wouldn’t want my little cousins to become.

Someone like Katherine is perfect because she shows girls that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you grow from them. That is what I have learned from Sharon Cameron. Give your character weaknesses, because that leaves room for growth and character who grow are the strongest kinds.