I’m sitting here on the 6:10am train into the city, going through some edits on my fantasy novel, when up pops Andy. Now, most of you have had the unbearable – I mean fascinating experience of meeting Andy in Man meets World and What’s in a name?
I love my characters, they’re real people to me and I hold conversations with them in my head all the time. I feel that sometimes, if I didn’t talk to them or write about them, then I’d go a little nuts. I mean, here I am sitting quietly, minding my own business when in the three seats facing me Andy appears. He’s older now than when I first wrote about him, with a beard and wearing a smile. An actual smile. It’s a little disconcerting.
This wasn’t supposed to be a post about Andy, but he doesn’t care and likes to ambush me when I least expect it. This was supposed to be a post about, if my characters were real people, they would rise up in a coup and kill me. Andy agrees, but not as much as he once did. Because this asshole got his happily ever after, and I pity the poor guy that makes him happy. But that’s my baggage with Andy.
Anyway, I’m rambling and Andy is rolling his eyes. My point is that my characters are real to me, perhaps I never grew out of the imaginary friend’s stage? But I can hold entire two sided conversations in my head and they will respond with their own mannerisms, and speech patterns. I know that I’ve conjured these people up, I’m not totally delusional, but to me once they’re created they are real. They have feelings and experiences and get mad with me when things don’t go their way… Ahem Andy.
Maybe one night I’ll wake up and they’ll all be standing at the foot of my bed, waiting for me. But I can see them, in my mind. See where they began, how they struggled and where they are going. Once a reader closes a book, that is the end of that character’s story. But I see them, going on with their lives, moving ahead, falling back down and I can see all the way to their end. Even if these characters never see the light of day. Even if no one but those close to me read about them, they will remain with me for the rest of mine.
Well that took a slightly morbid turn, didn’t it? Sorry, I’m in a particularly morbid mood today.
Perhaps this is character development gone mad? Or maybe I need to think about them a little less? Anyone else care to admit to imaginary friends?