As Book 3 nears completion, I am finding myself involved with my characters at a deep emotional level and it has a profound effect on me. Is this a good thing, I ask myself? Mostly, I would say an emphatic YES in that they are now projecting traits that are of their own making, inflicting them on me, conspiring to explain actions and emotions through me rather than the other way round, often the case at outset. I like my characters, some more than others and I find it fascinating to discover secrets about them that I hadn’t envisaged.
If it’s romance, I yearn for them and encourage them to make wise decisions, knowing they are as naïve as I would be in their situation. If it’s music, I sing with them, harmonise songs in my head and play the guitar riff, knowing exactly how they are feeling in that moment when music takes you to the sky.
It’s a bit like having children I suppose and certainly like being in a relationship where the baggage accumulated over time, however short, is gradually unpacked warts and all. Another aspect is the thought that there are secrets that lie deeper still and the actors in my book are playing cat and mouse with me, waiting for the opportunity to dump something into the equation, making plotting impossible. In fact, I am fast turning into a ‘panster’, allowing the characters to decide in any given circumstances how to react or respond.
Yes, I like and care for some of my characters and yet they are now human and will dictate where they take their story. Others I don’t like at all and the temptation is to kill them off, but do I have the Stephen King chip in place that will allow me to dispose of someone who becomes overly important or annoyingly disruptive. Book 4 presents me with that conundrum and will I have the nerve to do the deed? How will I feel? I dread the moment but fear it will come.
Yes, I am too close to my characters but that’s where I want to be. I’m in there with them although they will dictate their destination.
I’m very proud of Book 3 – Kingdom of the South – share it with me.