Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why won't they talk to me???

My textnovel's up to 60,000 words, and the characters are ready to move on. They know what happened. I know what happened. "So just write it down for us," they say, "and let us get on with our lives." But it's not that simple.

I've spent so much time on these characters now. David took me to work with him, introduced me to his mates in their cubicles. I really felt like I finally understood why he's so organized. Then there's Emily. It wasn't hard to see why David liked her, but she took quite a lot longer for me to get to know. She's wary, but nice.

David's mother, Jessica, seemed happy to have me round. I've sat in her living room drinking coffee, nibbling on cookies - gluten free. She's had a really tough life.

And the other one? The character that hides behind emails and word docs and all that. I simply quoted his stuff at first because I still didn't know him. And then I found out...

They make me feel like a reporter chasing the ratings now. "How did you feel when you learned...?" They just look at me. "How do you think we felt, you twit?" But I want them to say. I can't just finish the novel with "Here's what happened." Ever heard of show and tell?

"Yeah, we tell and you show." But what can I show if they won't talk to me?

My characters are ready to move on, but they're leaving me behind. So I chase them across the green as I walk the dog, metaphorical pencil and paper in my metaphorical reporter's hand. "Just let me know about the wedding then. Did it all go to plan?"

"Well, I did see this girl..."

Okay, I've got it. Thanks! And I'm writing again.

4 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

I'd say your characters are real to you. That's such a great feeling when they really become live people!

Helen
Straight From Hel

ptbertram said...

I don't understand why we can't just say, "Here's what happened. The end." Okay, I do understand, but still the inclination is there to just end it. Everyone knows what happened, so let's go on to the next project!

bearmancartoons said...

It's when you start talking to your characters in mixed company that we have a problem

Jack W. Regan said...

Ah, those fickle characters. There have been times when I've written them doing something truly crazy (knowing I'd delete it later.) Oddly, that sometimes breaks the ice, so to speak. Almost as if they got a little worried. "We have reputations, too, ya know! Fine, we'll cooperate!"