Friday, November 12, 2010

Appeasing the Voices

When I stop writing, my characters revolt. They stomp their feet in anger and assault my brain with plots and dialogue. They want out. They want the page. They want to feel real.

I started this novel about 10 years ago with a solitary idea and a character named Benny. Benny is in his mid to late 30's and has worked in construction for 15 or so years. Longevity has it's advantages. He knows when the concrete will be poured, how long it takes to set, how to smooth it out evenly. He also knows what can be hidden beneath it and how long it could take to find it. I worked through the "what ifs" and wrote a very small beginning. Five years ago, I couldn't take the influx of reminders from characters not yet formed pushing me to write about them. Two years ago, they won.

When I resurfaced the original idea, it took a life of it's own and became something entirely new. Benny has changed quite a bit and I'd venture to say, this isn't Benny anymore. This is a completely different character. Maybe Benny grew tired of waiting on me to get around to him, but I can still hear him now and again.I can still see him sitting in the shrink's office staring out the window. He deserves at least a short story some day.

My new characters are relentless. When I'm focused on one or two of them, the others are vying for my attention. Sometimes, I write a note or two to the side about them just to appease them for small periods of time. They want bigger parts in the story or have their own axes to grind and crosses to bear. It's my job to tell them ever so carefully, this isn't their story. It can be hard to let them down easy and still expect them to give me the rest of the story or help carry the main character.

So, I promised them I would share them with the rest of the world soon. My novel is about 14,000 words written, meaning I have a long way to go yet, but sharing pieces of them now is better than nothing.

Without further ado... here are my character names in no particular order:

JoAsh Lux, Idena Lux, Athan Lux, Lamb, Liam Lux, Joshua and Diane

And here is the working title of my novel in progress... 

Ahhh... peace and quiet.. for a little while.

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