My characters are coming to life. Not what I expected. I’m trying to get through this novel re-write when all of a sudden my characters got into an argument. I didn’t plan on it, but now that my characters have more depth, things got out of hand. They’re coming to life in a way I didn’t expect. They have their own mannerisms, their own opinions, their own wants and needs. They react differently to different things. They have feelings. In the original version I just ran through the story. Now they’re having an argument.
The thing is, it’s important that this happens. I first thought that maybe I was adding too much to the story. Becoming wordy in any story is never a good thing. But now I realize, if these people are who they are, this was bound to happen. My characters have taken on a life of their own, and I couldn’t be happier. My babies, aww, look at them. At first they crawled and now they’re walking on their own. I’ve never been prouder.
But now the scary part. My characters are taking on a life without me. Sure, I still have to put the rest of the story into words, but it’s like they only need me for that. I think it was Michaelangelo who said “the sculpture is already in there, I’m just removing all of the extra stuff.” I could be mis-quoting here, but the sentiment is the same. So does this mean I’m just a conduit, that while I created it, my part in it is no longer needed? Have I become the puppet while they pull the strings? They tell me to dance and I just start twisting the night away? I’m both scared and excited.
So I’m going to continue being a conduit. I just hope it doesn’t lead to madness. One thing I’ve learned is that I like them them, not because I created them, but because of who they are. I’m not just telling stories, I’m relating a moment in time of their lives. Perhaps it’s a bit impersonal to be telling you of what they’re doing. Hopefully they’ll understand that I’m doing this for their benefit, and no longer mine. All you can do is hope people understand who you are, and this is my attempt to help them be just that, understood.