Tag Archive | Charles Dickens

Writing about the human qualities we all share

Today my guest is another Gail – Gail Kittleson. Like me, the writing bug bit Gail later in life, but she’s hopelessly addicted. Hey, also just like me. But Gail Kittleson writes historical fiction. Her World War II fiction honors women who made a difference despite great odds. Her second love, teaching, leads to facilitating writing workshops and retreats where she loves cheering others on. Her latest project is Kiss Me Once Again,

Here is what Gail Kittleson would like to share on what goes on in her mind, as a writer.

This week I came across quotes from two of my favorite authors, Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens. They wrote in times different from ours, but with the same human qualities to cast into believable characters.

Roald Dahl writes, “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it.”

He may have referenced his own life, but I see this enthusiasm in his characters, too. My granddaughter and I read Danny The Champion of the World last summer. The story enthralled her, as it did her mother thirty-odd years ago. Why? Because the main characters come across as REAL.

That’s what I aim for—believable heroines or heroes. Since I write historical women’s fiction set in World War II, I’m always seeking facts, figures, and quirks that shout REAL!

 Because the war affects my characters so much, they might be tempted to give up or become bitter. Huge obstacles often block their way. Dickens comes in at this point: “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

My characters experience terrifying dangers, huge doubts, and make great sacrifices. They may fall into despair or bitterness at times, but don’t we all, if we’re honest?

Historical records of men and women who gave so much for the cause instruct me. Many survivors returned wounded, yet forged ahead with tenacity, refusing to allow past misfortunes to control their futures. Readers need such role models, so my mind is always seeking…seeking.

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