Talking to Characters


So today is the start of a new week, one where I’m committing myself to getting back on top of my blog schedule. I was feeling burnt out because I was trying to do too much, again. I really need someone to come and clobber me over the head to tell me to stop doing that. I keep doing it. Damn.

Today I had schedule time to do some rewriting of my novel before finishing up some B-School fun sheets but my creativity seemed to take a hold of the day and not let up. I’m totally okay with letting it do this. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and just write as I wanted. I cut out 1000 words from my rewrites, I loved the scene but I know it doesn’t fit in this story and I already have a place for it in a later story, but I had been resisting this fact. I didn’t want to remove purely because I felt I lost a little bit about Lucy’s brother (who has been renamed and I’m still adjusting to that) but I can find another way to bring him out. As well as this, I also mentioned that I was having problems with changing a major plot issue that came up, and finally implementing that has made me stall a little – okay a lot – but it’s for a good reason. I’ve been able to set out a timeline that I hadn’t before because I was rushed and slowly getting through the chapters has been a lot easier now.

But that’s not what I’ve been writing today.

Last year we had this massive storm in Melbourne where we had winds reach something crazy like 120k’s, I can’t even remember but I was safely tucked into my bed in my student accommodation that gave me a peace of mind because I had shutters on my windows and it used to be old housing for the nurses who treated patients at the old hospital my uni was built on. Others were not lucky, but I had a dream. It was one of the most vivid I’ve had in a while (speaking of dreams I’ve been having lots about a man who’s face I can not see, frustrating) and it was about a crazy storm but also about a pain goddess and her lover. I woke up and wrote everything down listening to Go by Delilah and finally nutted out I had a great start of a story here. I’m not one to gush that it came to in a dream, but hell yeah this one did. I had some serious feels when it came to it and I decided that I wanted to play around with it. I spent days after researching pain goddesses.

I just couldn’t find one.

Until I stumbled along one that was from Finnish mythology. Light bulb moment.

Meet Lyra aka Kivutar. She is old, but I’m gaging she looks about 23. She is married to Leigh, who is a total knock your socks off hottie and a Seer.

Yes, yes, I know two L names plus Lucy being the main narrator of Faded Fragments it may seem like I have a bit of an addiction (maybe I do I had Lucia and Luka on OB…) but I tried to change Leigh’s name and he, very stubbornly I may add, refused to let me change it. As for the girly spelling…he wouldn’t let me change that either.

Now I’m sure people think that I’m going crazy, talking like my are actually people who are flesh and blood. And to me? They are. They always have been. My brother called me schizophrenic once when I told him that they actually spoke to me and one of my favourite quotes by E.L. Doctorow is that: “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia” and it’s true. It really is true. But I’ve always seen characters as people because if I don’t then I can’t write them. I can tell you what Leigh smells like, what his skin tastes like and what his smile says to me. I can tell you the texture of Lyra’s hair because she loves to take care of it. Characters are fully rounded beings who are waiting to come out and show you who they are. Another great quote that I’ve found regarding characters is from Don Roff and he says: “If you treat your characters like people, they’ll reward you by being fully developed beings.” I hate this quote on my wall for ages and it’s true. I wonder if this quality can be taught to other writers? Characters should be your best friends (not to be mixed up with them being a carbon copy of your best friend, no), and you should be able to write about them no problem.

On that note I’m back to it. Lucy may be ready for me to finish writing her story tomorrow. Or later tonight. Here’s to hoping.

Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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