When the Characters Come to Life

After a while,
the characters I’m
writing begin to
feel real to me.

Well, Alice, I couldn’t agree more and that’s exactly the stage I’m at now with my current story. As a fiction author, it’s all too easy to become immersed and attached to the characters and world you are building, especially once they feel real.

For days now I’ve been fighting back the desire to babble endlessly about my fictional companions to any and all who are willing to listen. Though I’m fearful it may be mildly annoying to some, it’s just so damn hard to not talk about them! They are real to me right now!

Surely it can’t just be me? Yes, I am a bit of a chatterbox, but I’d imagine every writer feels this way to some degree when crafting a story. For me especially, the need becomes overwhelming to share little bits of the characters and their journey with others I’m close with.

I feel this is especially true when the really good bits start happening and, as the writer, you feel genuine excitement for the rest of the day after each writing session. As fun as it all may be, you have to check your sanity a bit when the story starts feeling so real and you just must tell someone. At this point, a typical conversation with a close friend might sound something like this:

Friend: Hey, how was your day today?

Me: Oh, great! Just wrapped up my first draft of chapters five through seven today.

Friend: Really? Girl, that’s so great!

Me: Yeah.. and guess what? You aren’t going to believe what Rowan did today…

Friend: Um, oh… oh yeah? Wait Rowan.. which one is he again?

Me: *jaw drops* WHAT?! ROWAN! How can you forget who Rowan is?! He’s MY HERO, come on man! I mean, well… he’s not MY hero. *unconformable giggle* He’s…. he’s my heroine’s hero actually, but yeah. You know what I mean. Anyway today, he was just SO bad! I swear I could barely keep his mouth shut this morning, all he kept doing was talking out of line and being super snarky every few minutes! And… and… you would not believe how he treated Brienna today!! Oh my Goddess…. She is just going to be SO upset tomorrow, I just know it! I still have no idea how I’m going to calm that girl down.

Friend: Oh. That’s super cool but.. I kinda don’t get it. I mean, you control the characters… the story, right? You’re the writer?

Me: What? Well yeah. Of course I’m the writer but I mean, they do stuff on their own sometimes and I just can’t… Oh, never-mind. You’ll understand when the book comes out, just you wait! You’ll see!

A bit exaggerated perhaps (especially getting three chapters of a first draft completed in one day) but you get the gist. That sort of dialogue is pretty common when I’m deep into my story-building phases! I do consider myself extremely lucky though because I have a handful of wonderful friends who totally get me and let me go on and on! They are the best and they know who they are.

Thanks guys, this one’s for you!

xoxo
Lydia

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