As an avid reader, I have always had a deep admiration for writers. And it has always been a not-so-secret wish of mine to join their ranks. As a result, I have always held a special place in my literary heart for those characters who share my dream of becoming an author. The following is a list of my Top 5 characters who love to write:
5. Charlotte from E.B. White’s beloved Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte saves Wilbur through offering not only her friendship, but her considerable skills as a writer. And as Wilbur says at the end of the book, “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” I can’t begin to tell you how often that sentiment has made me smile.
4. Wendy Darling from J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. Now, in truth, Wendy was not actually a writer, but she did tell such wonderful, adventurous stories. It was her stories that first brought Peter to the nursery window, and it was her stories that made the Lost Boys accept Wendy as their mother. For Wendy, telling a story is a way to show that you care for someone.
3. Jane Penderwick from Jeanne Birdsall’s Penderwick series. The four Penderwick sisters are delightful girls who have their share of childhood adventure. But it is Jane, the youngest but for one, who dreams of being a writer. She is forever telling stories, and when she writes a play for her older sister Skye’s homework assignment, both sisters find it a little awkward when Jane’s play is chosen for the Sixth Grade Performance Night. Nevertheless, the Penderwicks persevere, and no one can doubt Jane’s talent.
2. Betsy Ray from Maud Hart Lovelace’s charming Betsy-Tacy series. Betsy has always known she wanted to be a writer because “when she took a pen or pencil in her hand, inspiration cast a golden light.” But, as Betsy learns the hard way in Heaven to Betsy, sometimes inspired writing also requires work and preparation. And when she loses the essay contest, the irrepressible Betsy vows to never take her talent for granted, but rather to always practice fostering her skills into becoming a good writer.
1. Jo March from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Jo dreams of a writing career in an age when women were not encouraged to seek work away from hearth and home. While Jo always has a head full of stories, she struggles to write something from her heart. Finally, it is her love for her sisters and fondness for her childhood that inspires her greatest story.
All of these characters have further influenced my love for the written word, and their creators certainly have a way with the pen themselves. I invite all aspiring writers to read and enjoy the power of a well written story.