I just finished rereading Ender’s Game, for maybe the fifth time. It astounds me how intensely attached I am to Ender, a small boy genius who plays war games in space. Because none of that appeals to me. War games. Space. Geniuses. (That’s because I’m not one.) But Orson Scott Card writes with such personable, passionate prose that I feel like I completely, absolutely, 100 percent am breathing what Ender breathes. Seeing what he sees. Feeling what he feels. This boy. This special, significant person, who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Oh how I care for him with such fervor. So when I read those last words. When I close the cover. When the story ends. I’m morose for days after. I grieve the loss of sweet communion I shared with this character. Fictional goodbyes, I’ve learned, are no easier than real ones.
And yet, it’s those very feelings that keep me reading. Keep me pursuing great characters. Favorite characters. Characters I long to be best friends with. Harry Potter. Frodo Baggins. Percy Jackson. Katniss Everdeen. Jay Gatsby. Matteo Alacrán. Holden Caulfield. Ender Wiggin. Charlotte Doyle. Bean. Thursday Next. And the list goes on. A giant THANK YOU to the authors of these believable, beautiful characters. My writing definitely wouldn’t be the same without them.
Who do you hate saying goodbye to after rereading his or her story?