Peering into . . .

the inner workings of Alison Miller Woods

(Alphabe-Thursday: G and H) Grief and Hidden Burdens or Hardships for Our Characters December 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 3:31 pm
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Since I am sooooooo late in posting my alphabets, I am combining letters. And I will just link back to Jenny Matlock’s main website.


I had an interesting experience this summer that started me thinking about character motivation.  I work for two Universities. However, the classes I teach are not offered during the summer semester. So that means no paychecks for July, August, or up until the end of September. I know that this is coming each year and I plan for it. I am usually able to save from through the year and save school loans (my husband is a full-time student) and tax returns. It typically isn’t an issue. Much.

Now, this summer. . . Husband started graduate school. We didn’t realize that school would be starting in May instead of September (like all the other schools he was accepted to). So, here come due a large tuition payment and yet school loans don’t start until September (because that’s when school is supposed to start?). So, it drained pretty much everything we had.

Summer was interesting.

Part of understanding this is the fact that I can NOT miss a payment. The thought of even being late on a bill or a payment makes me physically ill. So I can tell you that there wasn’t a day (hour?) that went by that I wasn’t mentally shifting our finances around and sorting out how to pay for one thing or another.

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t my normal self in my reactions with those around me; simply because in my head I was constantly battling reality.

It got me thinking about writing characters.  Do we have characters carrying unknown burdens that affect how they treat others, or respond to different situations? How can we include these things to make a well-rounded character without having to do a lot of ‘back story’? What about a chronic illness, one that isn’t physically apparent?

Can you think of any of your favorite characters that are carrying these Hidden Burdens?


2 Responses to “(Alphabe-Thursday: G and H) Grief and Hidden Burdens or Hardships for Our Characters”

  1. H Says:

    My eldest began university in September, but didn’t receive his student loan until he had been there for over 3 weeks. Meanwhile, of course, there are a lot of bills to pay! Fortunately, tuition fees go straight from source, so that wasn’t an issue, but everything else for living away from home…


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