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I'm a creative writer who self published a romance novel recently, and I've started writing a second book with the same characters. This is getting to be a problem for me, though! :(

Now, as soon as I say 'romance novel' and 'affair' with my male character, you might start assuming "Mr. Studly Bad-Boy-Swashbuckling Pirate Anti-Hero." No, not at all! My characters in my novels are not 'fantasy' types. They're actually very realistic people who have come a long way and developed in the storylines. But that isn't stopping me from feeling so attached, attracted to, and I have to say it, 'in love' with the character (I'll just call him 'John') that I made up!

I think it is the fact that he's SO realistic and ordinary that I've gotten attached to him. I almost feel like there is probably someone out there who's exactly like him- and that feeling makes me feel discontent with my own husband. :( I'd rather spend time writing than anything, and I even get annoyed when my husband comes to interrupt me when I'm in the middle of writing a new scene or chapter about John and Mary's lives. (Mary is a woman not unlike me, though with a few differences.)

Is this weird or crazy? I have been married 21 years. Never been unfaithful, and neither has he, but I do think our romance has gone dull and mundane. We have three kids and the oldest went away to college, so that tells you I'm probably too old to be this silly about a made-up character! :nono:
 

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Does your book huge you back. How about the character that resides in your head and the pages. How is the cuddling going?

Your romance is dull because you are busy with John in a paperback book. Put the pen down and ask for a date from your H. Call him John if you need to.
 

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You're not the only woman author who has had that problem.

Ayn Rand did too.
 

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Nice to meet you..... author here as well. To get into the characters, one must become them. Not an easy task. But it's doable.
 

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I'm a creative writer who self published a romance novel recently, and I've started writing a second book with the same characters. This is getting to be a problem for me, though! :(

Now, as soon as I say 'romance novel' and 'affair' with my male character, you might start assuming "Mr. Studly Bad-Boy-Swashbuckling Pirate Anti-Hero." No, not at all! My characters in my novels are not 'fantasy' types. They're actually very realistic people who have come a long way and developed in the storylines. But that isn't stopping me from feeling so attached, attracted to, and I have to say it, 'in love' with the character (I'll just call him 'John') that I made up!

I think it is the fact that he's SO realistic and ordinary that I've gotten attached to him. I almost feel like there is probably someone out there who's exactly like him- and that feeling makes me feel discontent with my own husband. :( I'd rather spend time writing than anything, and I even get annoyed when my husband comes to interrupt me when I'm in the middle of writing a new scene or chapter about John and Mary's lives. (Mary is a woman not unlike me, though with a few differences.)

Is this weird or crazy? I have been married 21 years. Never been unfaithful, and neither has he, but I do think our romance has gone dull and mundane. We have three kids and the oldest went away to college, so that tells you I'm probably too old to be this silly about a made-up character! :nono:
Look up magic thinking. You have been married for 21 years you should be more mature then this. If your relationship is dull why don't you do something to spice it up, with your spouse.

By the way from a guys point of view, I could graphically build a woman using software and view such artificial image of such woman in 3D. She could completely fulfill my image of what a perfect woman physically would be for me, down to every last hair. She may even have some flaws from some peoples point of view (not ones that would be the kind that bother me though). Would you think it would be right for me to compare her to my wife? Does that make any sense? This is what you are doing and frankly it is silly, you don't want a spouse you want a doll.

Sh*t I wish I could be batman. But when I am playing Arkham Knight and my wife comes home I stop and go listen to her day, because I love her and I am committed to her. Try "action follows emotion" for a while.
 

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Interesting. My wife wrote an erotic romance novel (and is nearly done with the first sequel). Still looking for an agent, though, but may eventually self-publish on Amazon if that's what it takes.

They're actually very realistic people who have come a long way and developed in the storylines. But that isn't stopping me from feeling so attached, attracted to, and I have to say it, 'in love' with the character (I'll just call him 'John') that I made up!
The main male character shares some of my desirable, studly traits, and my wife is very in love with me (and has been for nearly 17 years), so it's all good! I'm her editor and plot consultant, so it's a project we do together - but she's the truly creative one.
 
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Is this weird or crazy? I have been married 21 years. Never been unfaithful, and neither has he, but I do think our romance has gone dull and mundane. We have three kids and the oldest went away to college, so that tells you I'm probably too old to be this silly about a made-up character! :nono:
In my opinion this is an interesting topic. Think of situations where people have emotional affairs with other people that are simply not based in reality. This relationship primarily exists by each person projecting their desires and wants onto the other person and believing it is real. Since most emotional affairs are simply not based in reality, it is not that far fetched to just remove the other person and have an emotional affair with the idea of someone.

Since this idea of someone is created in your own imagination the emotional affair then takes on a whole new dynamic. Essentially it is a device that allows you to have conversations with your subconscious. You may notice that your imaginary partner drastically changes moods depending on your day, or suddenly mirrors challenges you are facing in your everyday life. Oddly enough you can not control the way this person reacts to your ideas in your imagination, but you can repeatedly test and replay a certain scenario.

In my opinion what you are doing is simply learning to meditate and have conversations with your subconscious by using a fictional character of your own creation. Or perhaps you are entering the mental stream of some monk sitting on the other side of the planet wishing for you to have happiness.



Cheers,
Badsanta
 

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It's good that you recognize that your writing is having an influence on your life. Some people escape life into a variety of things to avoid the mundane; TV, video games, drug use, gambling, alcohol, books. You have ended up writing. You may want to slow it down, make sure you are still devoting more time and effort to your marriage than you are to your book. You could use your husband as 'research' for certain scenes and using your ideas to spice up your own life.

Aside:

My ex wrote a book. It took so much time that I was basically a single working parent, but I did it gladly as a supportive and loving spouse. I used to laugh and tell everyone it felt like my ex was having an affair with the main character, but really, I was so proud.

Then, lo and behold, I learned that my ex WAS having an affair, had named the main character after the affair partner, the book was taking much less time to write than I had been led to believe, and there was a lot less going to coffee shops involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Nice to meet you..... author here as well. To get into the characters, one must become them. Not an easy task. But it's doable.
Well, yes. I have 'become' the female main character (I'll call her 'Annie') who is the love interest of 'John.' I really don't think people who are not writers understand much of this. I feel bad that someone called me 'immature' for this weird attachment. It's hard to spice up a marriage to a husband who is often busy, preoccupied, work-aholic, and complains and gripes a lot about minor things.
I'm feeling a lot of disconnect over the last several years, and it's my fault as well as his because I've fallen into depression- that flat kind of depression where everything is dull, grey, unexciting, and I had been tired and sad to the point I literally wanted out of my own life or wished for someone else's. I have been feeling better now, in the last year. I honestly have.
A friend suggested I should try a hobby to make me feel better about myself. Well, I did. It's writing. And I'm getting some feedback and praise for my creations from friends and strangers. :) My husband isn't all that excited about my wanting to be an author. It's okay with him that I do, but he knows it is competitive and my books are not likely to make it big, or go viral among millions of others. After all I only made about $30 in Amazon Kindle royalties from selling a few e-books. (mostly Facebook friends.) Marketing is the hard part.
@Married but Happy, you see, you are excited and supportive about your wife being an author. My DH isn't.

Maybe what I could do when writing is give the male character faults and irritating habits that exactly match my husband, or even have him doing things that are even more annoying, just so that I don't idolize how wonderful my made-up guy is?

Oh, and if you bring up counseling- we just don't have the budget and coverage for seeing therapists. I'd really like to, but it isn't affordable at least this year.
 

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You may not have made much so far in royalties, but perhaps you could eventually. A friend started writing romance novels about 3 years ago, and puts one out about every 5 weeks (frankly, they're not very good IMO, but she has a niche and a following). Her husband quit his job to do her marketing and they've been self-publishing on Amazon, until just recently when she got a print deal. She just bought a Tesla. YMMV.
 

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Falling for a fictional character reminds me of the movie The Purple Rose of Cairo. But in that movie, the bored housewife's favorite movie character entered the real world. But the thing is...that's never going to happen to your hero. Your book is a work of fiction. Creating someone you can fall for is a way of escaping from a marriage that is not making you happy. I second your friend's advice of finding a hobby. I think there;s a middle ground here - instead of giving up writing entirely, try writing a different genre AND find another hobby. When you start spending less time fantasizing about this fictional character, you might start spending more time with your husband and noticing the good things about him as well as the bad. All you listed were the bad qualities he has. And it sounds like you are very disconnected.

In order to reconnect you need to spend some romantic, quality time together not talking about kids, and doing something that qualifies as a date. Instead of trying that, you seem to have escaped to this guy. But this fictional guy hasn't remained faithful to you during your whole marriage. He doesn't help you pay the mortgage, take out the trash, hold you at night, or tell you what he's thinking etc. It's easy to romanticize someone who doesn't share the humdrum tasks of everyday life. Your husband is real. And he's slipping away unless you both make an effort to reconnect. You can take the first step by bringing up dating with him. Be prepared to hear a few things you don't like - like spend less time on this fictional guy - because you're not writing your husband's dialogue ;)
 

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I've had a life long affair with the main character in my all time favorite book (it is not a romance novel), since I read it the first time in my early 20's. I have read the book at least 20 times since then, and fall madly in love with him again EVERY time I read it....and then my heart is broken again EVERY time I finish the book because I know I will no longer has his presence swimming in my mind everyday as I read it. I always have a really hard time actually reading through to the last page because I know our little affair will be over again soon.

But I also know I will read it again one day and will strike up the affair again and "see" him and "be with" him again.....(swoon).

This affair has never interfered with any actual relationship I've been in....and sometimes I have been able to share this lovely affair with partners (by telling them about it/describing my mental love affair) because they have read and loved the book too and they actually understand my love for the main character. Other times, I just keep it to myself. It is a very rewarding mental relationship....and it has actually enhanced my real life in many ways. But if it started making my real life relationship go wonky, I would know I had crossed over some line that wasn't a good line to cross.
 

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You're not the only woman author who has had that problem.

Ayn Rand did too.
Who is John Galt?

Dagney Tagbert's affair with married Hank Reardon.

For You, Dreamer OP novelist? It is the fantasy that is real and the real that is fantasy.

Neptune rules your day...re-hues your stay...in this life.

This alliance with the Sea God is good for writing...bad for riding in an open car on a rainy day.

Reality is painful. Why? You cannot see it. What you cannot "see" you cannot acknowledge.......Dear.

Reality is "Oh, so much better" than yours [and most others] imagination. Get that.....and be free-er.
 
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You're not the only woman author who has had that problem.

Ayn Rand did too.
Rand had a fling with Alan Greenspan...... wonder how that book turned out *grins*
 
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