I’ve been horribly neglectful with the postings, both here and at the book blog. But, I’ve been doing a bit of writing recently, so I’m going to go ahead and forgive myself. I hope you’ll forgive me, too. It’s mostly WoW-related stuff. I’m eyeing my short story sidelong, kind of pretending it’s not there, in the hopes that it’ll start talking to me and demanding attention.
Right now, I think it’s doing the same thing to me.
Maybe the idea of stories and characters taking on personalities of their own sounds odd, but there’s truth to it. I’m not going to go quite as far as using the metaphor of stories/books as babies (especially since, when the manuscript’s done, you’re probably sending it off to the slush pile – a place where it will be stacked atop many other manuscripts in a storeroom or a closet or some editor’s floor and largely ignored for a very long time. Do that sort of thing to a kid and someone’s going to call social services…)
However, there are ideas that sometimes come so randomly that, even though they came from somewhere in our writerly heads, we’re not quite sure how they got there.
Lori lets me know I’m not alone in this:
Last night as I was brushing my teeth, “Crowmaker” wandered into the bathroom and tugged at my sleeve and said, “Hey, I think I wanna grow up to be a novel. Just think about it, OK?”
It’s so true. They do things like that all the time. Years ago (warning: gamer-geek jargon ahead), while I was setting up my list of NPCs for a game I was running (Mage: The Ascension, for the curious), someone who was supposed to be just a throw-away character decided she wanted a bigger role.
It went something like…
Me: Okay, T.C. Garrett. Verbena. White hair, weird blend of fashionista and hippie chick.
T.C.: Psst. I have wings.
Me: No, you don’t. You’re going to help bring Maddy to meet the group, and then you’re going to be forgotten.
T.C.: Wings and a glowy sword.
Me: No, you don’t. Go sit over there with Clay and Caroline. I’m done with you.
T.C.: Also, I’m an angel.
Me: No, you fucking aren’t.
T.C.: Yes I am. I’m in charge of guarding the kid.
Me: No, you… oh, hey, wait. That might be kind of cool.
She turned out to be a pretty cool character.
So, sometimes, when ideas come like that, it’s worth listening to them. Which is why my posting has been non-existant the last week or so. Blogging can often be productive, but there are times when it’s merely cat vacuuming. I have to find the balance between the two.