Fiction writing is sort of schizo. You have real conversations with people who don’t exist, physically. Mentally, they’re real, or trying to be. I almost visualize sitting down with my character in a coffee shop and asking him to tell me about himself.
Really, you’re the youngest of three boys? How does that make you feel? What do you want to do when you get out of school? Does your father know that? What will happen if you don’t get to do that? That’s a lot of sugar for your coffee. You must really like it sweet. What’s your favorite food? Wow, that’s spicy. How do you and your brothers get along? OK, but? Do you ever say anything to him about that? Maybe you should think about it. Do you have a girlfriend? No? How come? Don’t be so shy, I won’t tell anyone : ) Yeah, broken hearts are hard to get over. Me? Oh, I just make stuff up.
Sometimes it gets hard. Sometimes that character just doesn’t want to talk about himself. You can poke and prod and turn him upside down, and he just keeps quiet. Sometimes I only get to know him when I put him on paper, then I can see him stretch and turn and wink. Now he comes to life and takes me by the hand and says, Let’s go this way. But, but…ok, let’s see where this goes.
Sometimes I wish my characters were real. Why don’t I have a mentor in my life as great as this woman? And this one, I would dearly love to sit and listen to him talk about life. It’s a little odd to have friends in my head, but I really like them. I even like the bad guys. They are fun to write because you can make them just as mean as you want, but you also want them to get over themselves. Sometimes they see the light. Other times, they only see their own misguided ambition. Sorry Dude, you lose.
That’s what makes fiction so fun. It’s my world and my people and I can rewrite it and change it and no one gets hurt. Now, to get it out of my head and into the book!