There is one thing I’ve noticed as the lockdown progresses, is that I talk to myself a lot. I am worried I’ll forget once I am back out socializing, and I’ll still find myself saying things meant for inside my head, out loud in public. Can you imagine it? People will be staring at me as if I am crazy!
Well, hopefully not, as I am sure I am not the only one.
It isn’t just because I live alone, and have no one except my cat to talk too. It’s because I talk to my characters as I am writing them. I immerse myself in my world of Remargaren and see it through their eyes. Hopefully, so that I capture it for my readers to experience as well.
But that does mean that I get caught up in conversations, some of which make it into the book and some of which don’t. My characters have been invented by me; I created their backstory, their likes and dislikes, their foibles, and habits, their thoughts and beliefs. Some I know better than others, and others force their way to the front demanding to be fleshed out more, to play a part, to have a voice.
Characters are an important element of a great story. A reader wants to be invested in their story, to be drawn in to their world, to understand why they react the way they do. It is the authors job to give the reader enough information to draw conclusions, infer emotion, too anticipate. A well rounded character resonates; it’s part of what give us that book hang over when we finish. That sense of losing a friend, of misplacing something, because you won’t be able pick up where you left off.
Fortunately, you can always revisit when you want you, that is the joy of re-reading a book and returning to visit old acquaintances, and often learning something new as you glean something you missed the first time you read it.
Then a new characters raises their hand! And says “What about me?” And I take a closer look, and realize that they don’t fit in the world of Remargaren. They have their own world waiting to be described; to be created, for me to put pen to paper and bring it to life.
A smile rises in me at the thought of meeting someone new; to explore who they are, what they have to say. To discover what they have suffered, or are yet to suffer, and who they will become.
I was listening to an Olly Murs album as I edited my third Sentinal novel, and the lyrics from one of his songs just resonated with me. A young woman raised her hand, stared me in the eye, and she said “I have a story for you to tell.” And she does. I have two new protagonists and a whole new world to think about. A whole new conversation to enjoy.
So If you hear me chattering away to myself, don’t dismiss me. I am in the throes of composition, meeting new characters and making new friends.
I hope you come and visit, enjoy the company and return often.