Obnoxious people from my brain…

It never ceases to amaze me how those darn characters we invent and invest in can turn on us.  Sometimes it’s no big deal… no bigger a deal than when someone flips you off on the highway.  You’re mad about it, but only for a few minutes and then it fades from your memory.  Other times it’s like a beloved, dear dog suddenly turns and attacks you, and you end up in the emergency room and find out you have rabies and fleas and mange and distemper, all from that dog you fed and nourished and loved and gave your precious time to…

 So those characters in that story I was writing?  You know the one where they fall in love after two previous breakups in a magical kingdom, etc.?  Well, the story started out swimmingly!  They were young, in love, passionate… the supporting characters were funny and fun and clever.  I believed in the love and the magic and the desire…

 Then the betrayal!  Oh no!  Such pain!  Yeah, that part worked too.  Even when they got back together again, unable to resist their love, it was ok.  And when he was sent off to the front lines to defend the kingdom, and she had to stay behind in the palace to defend the king… yes it was good!  Acceptable, anyway.

 But then he came back, disillusioned and on the run, ready to go rogue, and take his love with him.  Yet she refused.  He may have seen horrid things on the battlefront, but she had achieved a place of status and stature with the king!  How could he ask her to give all that up now?  So they separated, hearts broken… and then oy vey.

 My heroine sits on her fainting couch, hart shorn in hand, vinaigrette by her side, lace hanky drifting to the floor, saying “Ah me!” about a thousand times (or the equivalent).  My hero sets his steely stare out on the horizon, his chiseled jaw set, unsmiling, as he silently vows never to love again.

 And I just know she will get advice from a wandering Gypsy fortune teller.  He will listen to the wisdom of his sagacious old valet.  And somehow this book which began so promisingly, has become a melodrama written in the purple prose of 1895.

 So I was perturbed, then I was disappointed, and now I pretty much am resigned to setting this story among the others… you know the ones.  Back burner tales.  Spare novels to work on when I have nothing else going on.

 But that’s the breaks, really!  Life happens, and the muse comes and goes like luck.  I’m not mad at the muse, or even at myself.  Or really even at those silly characters and how far they have fallen in my esteem.  I already have something new and fecund in my head, fermenting and brewing up characters with backbones, with modern voices, with vision.  That’s how it goes!  And that’s one of the reasons I love writing!

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3 Responses to “Obnoxious people from my brain…”

  1. Diana Beebe Says:

    Those pesky characters don’t always behave the way we thought they would, do they? I do love it when they take me down a path that I didn’t expect and that is far better than the one I planned. 🙂

  2. Pauline Baird Jones Says:

    LOL! Very fun and very true!

  3. Nicole Grabner Says:

    Does it feel like your muse messes with you sometimes, though? I’ve had fellow students (MFA) say that when I bounce between characters and stories that I’m too scattered – not dedicated to just one. You know what I mean?

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