Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Those People In Your Head
Recently I finished my current full-length manuscript. I didn't expected to start work on my next one until January. My brain was supposed to turn to mush as soon as I typed The End and remain that way for at least a month.
To my surprise, new characters started whispering right away. Flashes of scenes appeared in my mind's eye. Ideas for conflict pushed their way to the surface. What is the deal here? This is supposed to be my vacation.
Well, tell that to the cast and crew. They were tired of waiting and ready to get started. And to be honest, I'm glad. It means I've learned to listen to my characters, to actually hear them.
Two years ago, hearing others talk about this phenomenon baffled me. I'd always thought myself in charge of the story. Though I'd daydreamed for as long as I could recall, my characters didn't do anything on their own. Or so I thought. I'm a plotter. I'm in control. That wouldn't change.
And it hasn't. I'm still a plotter, devising evil ways to torture my hero and heroine. I map out scenes on a chart and see where the holes are. But when I put pen to paper, I close my eyes and wait. Then I can watch what my characters are doing, hear what they're saying, try to feel what they are feeling.
I'm finally connecting with all those people in my head. That's a cool thing!