1. fond attachment, devotion, or love: the affection of a parent for an only child.
2. Often, affections.
a. emotion; feeling; sentiment: over and above our reason and affections.
b. the emotional realm of love: a place in his affections.
3. Pathology . a disease, or the condition of being diseased; abnormal state of body or mind: a gouty affection.
4. the act of affecting; act of influencing or acting upon.
5. the state of being affected.
As writers words are our trade, our commodity which we send out into the world and from which we hope to one day make a living by which to sustain ourselves, you will notice I did not say get rich from. Everyday we use words thoughtlessly, comments which are thrown away, wasted on those who have no desire to engage with them let alone trade with us in stimulating conversation. We begin acquiring language on our mothers knee, for some people they will never be as articulate as they were as small children, they subjugate the language, bending it to suit their own idea of modernity, believing by dropping letters it will make them appear more with it or hip. For some their affection for languages will continue for their whole life, the acquisition of not only their own language but of all languages, will bring them pleasure and a deeper understanding of history and how interconnected we as peoples across the globe really are.
A word like affection is used so frequently with little thought to our true meanings, we feel affection, we show affection, we were affected but so often these days it appears that affection is lavished more on the material and impersonal then invested in our fellow man. I too am guilty of expressing my love for an inanimate object but there is one form of affection which is the sole preserve of writers, and that is the deep affection they can come to feel for the characters they create.
These figments of our fevered imaginations become as real to us as our own family members, some are with us only for a short time, some share our conciousness for years becoming ingrained in our every day existence. We do not always like all the characters we create but I think if is safe to suggest that ever writer has at least one that has got under their skin. They are not always the obvious characters, or the good ones, sometimes it is the bad boy who wins your affections and sometimes the only time you really realise just how much they mean to you is when it is time to say goodbye. For me, when I wrote the first draft of my novel, my bad guy began as just that but it would have been far too easy to just described him as evil, don’t get me wrong he is but he is also charming, manipulative and seductive. He dragged affection from me silently, unnoticed until I can to write his death scene, and I realised after that was the weakest scene in the whole book rather than the climax it should have been because I was so upset at killing him I took it easy on him.
I would love to know from the other writers out their do you have a character who has stolen your affection, and have they broken your heart as you dealt the death blow?