“I’m obsessed, thank you very much.”

The title of this post is a line Emilio Estevez delivers to Andie MacDowell in a classic Brat Pack movie St. Elmo’s Fire. He has been following her around, clearly hoping that she will choose him as a lover, but in the end, he finds that she has chosen someone else when he follows her to a mountain cabin and meets her buff boyfriend. The line – and the movie – have been going around in my head now for a day or so. No, I am not obsessing on someone. Rather, I have been obsessing on characters in novels and wondering why I cannot write characters such as those I fall in love with, who bring me back to their pages time and again.

I am in the middle of a second draft of a novel. As much as I try to make the characters seem real, the words in which I wrap my characters are flat, dull, and boring to me, so I know they will be to others as well. I want dynamic relationships between teacher and students, but instead I feel like yawning. I thought the relationships between teacher and students would improve after I finished student teaching, but I am not capturing the teacher-student dynamics that I came to love with my students. I don’t want to recreate those scenes because that feels like cheating. I want the characters to have their own lives. Does that make sense?

That said, I have returned to books that I love with characters that have lives and personalities that are so real to me that I don’t want to leave their world. I am trying to figure out what it is about these characters that make me fall in love with them. I don’t know if I am doing this right. Are there books I should read about writing? It is my dream to write a novel, but perhaps I am not cut out for that.

Before I give up entirely, however, I will keep searching for answers. If you are writing a novel, you should never give up either. Keep working. Keep writing. Do what you love.

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