Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis from the BBC News Entertainment Section:

Author JK Rowling has said she felt euphoric but “devastated” as she penned the last words of the final Harry Potter book, The Deathly Hallows.

Speaking on Jonathan Ross’ chat show, she said: “When I finished one chapter near the end I absolutely howled.” …

She was in a hotel room alone as she finished writing the book.

“I was sobbing my heart out, I downed half a bottle of champagne from the mini bar in one and went home with mascara all over my face, that was really tough,” she said.

The fourth wall is considered, in theatrical terms, to be “the imaginary wall between the stage and the audience.” It is the box, tipped, so that all can see what is happening in that world. We, as writers, have to enter that box, though. But how far do you go? How invested do you become in your characters and your created world?

I’ve had similar moments to the one JK Rowling describes above, when I feel devastated by something I’ve made happen inside that box, when I just can’t seem to place my own feelings on the other side of that fourth wall. Characters are treated brutally. Characters die. They say things to one another that make you–even as you’re typing out the words–feel a tightening of skin and a flood of warmth, of truth, that make you wonder, “Where did that come from?”

It’s hard going beyond the fourth wall, it takes a toll, but I think being emotionally entangled in our characters’ lives might result in a more authentic telling.

How ’bout you?

Write on, all!


About Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh co-founded Writer Unboxed in 2006. Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, was named a Best Book of 2014 by Library Journal and BookRiot. Her debut, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, sold to Random House in a two-book deal in 2008, was named one of January Magazine’s Best Books, and was a Target Breakout Book. She's never been published with a lit magazine, but LOST's Carlton Cuse liked her Twitter haiku best and that made her pretty happy.