Sunday, November 10, 2013

What's that crazy noise?

10,171. That's my word count for today.

I know that there are people out there who think I'm lying about this. I'm not. My eyes tell me I'm not - they're bloodshot. My fingers tell me I'm not - they're sore. My butt tells me I'm not - it's numb from sitting. And yet I keep going. Dunno. I just do.

And at some point today I made a big pot of pasta e fagioli and - DA-dada-da-da-da-DAAAAA - naan! Yes, I made naan right here in my kitchen! And yes, I set the smoke detectors off! Shut up. It's not funny. Well, yeah, it kinda is.

But even though the sun was shining today, it's been a gloomy day for writing. While I got the joy of writing about the wedding of one of my favorite characters, I experienced the distinct agony of saying goodbye to another as they were laid to rest. Believe it or not, it was super, super hard to do. Even harder, another character who seems to have no feelings at all is overwhelmed by the loss and stands at the funeral to tell everyone what that person had meant to him in his life. I couldn't help it - I cried. I'm sitting here thinking about it and I'm starting to cry again. Silly, right?

Not really. You see, I truly care about my characters. I spend a lot of time developing them. They grow into their own, and it's like being the proud parent of an accomplished kid. I know their middle names, their eye color, their birthdates, what kind of cars they drive, their favorite dessert, favorite color, favorite drink, favorite music. They share all of that with me, and I feel privileged to know them.

Now I know you're thinking, She's delusional. These aren't real people. What the hell is wrong with this woman? But you have to understand: I've lived with them in my head for years. I know them very well because, just like a god, I know what's going on inside them. I hear their internal dialogue when they're too scared to speak. I feel their greatest fears and their most stupendous joys. They're a part of me, so when one of them dies, a little piece of me dies too. I hate it - I hate losing any of them. But people die. Others are born. Life goes on.

So here's the bottom line: You read my work, you're going to fall in love with my characters. Guaranteed. Before I'm finished, you'll love them as much as I do. And you ask yourself, Why does she go to all this trouble?

Because if I don't give a damn about my characters, why should you? Relating to lovable, believable characters - isn't that why people read?

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