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Friday, May 7, 2010
Characters that never die . . .
I wake with them in my head,
stirring up trouble and pushing
all my other ideas aside so
I get up and find my laptop
left with all those open windows,
and all those word documents
lined up and ready for me.
But I open a new, blank page
and an hour later I have a live
story, one that has me on the edge.
The old characters have been given
new birth in a fresh storyline,
just a few changed place names,
and a new timeline for the action,
and they are racing
through the keyboard
to find their finish.
But I'm not sure I want them to
cross that finish line, because
these characters have lived in my
head for so long that I would miss
them if they left, and then I wonder
just how crazy that makes me as a person,
and if all writers are like that.
I do want to finish their story,
but leave it open-ended enough
so that they can live on, and
So here I am, trying to put my manic writer moments into something poetic. I'm not sure it's working this morning. However, I'm excited to have written 1,039 words on a story that has me on the edge of my seat. I'm excited to be working with old characters that are like old friends, whom I'm still getting to know.
However, it wasn't the story I was planning to write. Yesterday I came across a submission site at an agency, and they had a "what we're looking for this month" section. Science Fiction. Hmm. My mind immediately popped back to an old story of mine, one that got to novel length, but never seemed to work. I loved/still love those characters. The call for submissions didn't really fit the story I have, but with a few tweaks, with a few changes in time, circumstance, etc, it just might work.
I kept thinking about it all evening, and woke with those old characters having new adventures in my head. I had to write them down. Compelled. 1,039 words and an hour later, I'm still having a hard time thinking of anything else.
Whether I can rewrite enough of that old story in a month for submissions or not, I have to write it.
Do you ever feel that way? Compelled to write by characters that demand a life?