Monday, 19 March 2012

When Characters Interrupt...

Over the weekend I was being creative- making cakes.

Now I have to say I feel calmer than I usually do on a Monday morning after a few days of not having peace to write-having my other half and teenage children around is not conducive to my ability to concentrate on writing anything.

(My weekend blog post is usually written late Friday night when it's quiet.)

So it was quite unexpected when Sunday morning one of my characters interrupted me while I was brushing my teeth.

Now Jago is a secondary character in my Dorset novel. He is most definitely an alpha male, and he does have his own story, but that's for the future- even though he'd prefer his story done now. But as I don't know all of it he will have to be patient.

In fact his story starts a few weeks after his last appearance in the main novel. I know how he meets the future love of his life; I know her name and some of her back story, but that's about it. It all goes in the notebook specifically for his story.

So there I am, toothbrush whirring in my mouth and Jago springs into my conscious to tell me why he goes against his own rules at the start of his story. It's all to do with his sister.

And then, assured I was eager to go and write this insight down, he strode away, back into that area of my brain where my characters wait and continue developing until I'm ready to work with them.

Now I know to a non-writer all that would sound like I'm a little crazy, but to those of us who write, our characters don't always wait until we're at the keyboard to arrive.

Quite a few of my past characters have popped in to give me information when I'm in the middle of cooking a meal, or doing some other domestic chore.

(A few have even intruded while I've been writing a completely different story.)

So next weekend I'll make sure I've got a notebook and pen handy just in case one of them turns up...

Have any of your characters arrived at an unsuitable or inconvenient moment?


Linda King said...

I love the way you describe him striding off - just from that blogpost I had an image of him in my head! My characters always visit in the shower, leaving me repeating what they've told me over and over until I get out so I don't forget it. I think they think it's funny.

Carolb said...

Now I have to admit, Linda, that my characters used to arrive while I was in the shower too, and like you I had to keep repeating the information until I was dried and could reach the notebook.

So at least one of them has realised it's better to wait until I can pay attention. :-)

Diane Fordham said...

Bless those characters. I can relate to this. Mine enjoy putting in an appearance just when I get comfy in bed... :-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

What a great picture of your character interrupting. Wish mine would do that more often, but it's often when I'm half awake in early morning.

Carolb said...

Diane, I'm glad to say my characters don't usually intrude at bedtime- probably because they realise I'm too tired to notice them! :-)

Thanks, Rosemary. We clearly all have characters who prefer their own timetables, rather than ours...:-)