Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What nobody knows about my characters...

It’s really very simple

It’s very simple. Just because I write “the end” to a novel (or perhaps even a short story), my characters don’t suddenly freeze in place and then fade away. No indeed. If I’m particularly attached to them, they live on…and on…and on…forever.

They keep coming back

I might be driving to town or traveling, lying in bed at night, enjoying some sunshine in a park, watching a video, browsing in a mall…and suddenly, a character or two pops into my head, and I see them traveling…enjoying some sunshine in a park…watching a video…browsing in a mall…lying in bed at night…and suddenly new scenes begin to take shape. Scenes, of course, which will never be written because the book is finished, published, and gone.

Never out of mind

But not my characters. Not Alan and Lenore, Annie and David, Nick and Jean, Kent and Celeste, Ruthann and Drew, Penelope and Sam, Gail and Sid…oh, no, they’re still around and always will be!
Why? Because they’re mine and I love them. Out of sight, yes. Out of mind, no.

In short…

The trouble with writing is
you can  never finish.
No matter how much you write,
there is always more to be written.
Another scene,
another conversation,
another crisis
lurking in the wings
of the writer’s mind.
The trouble with a story is
that it never ends.
So if you think you’ve written
the last chapter
of your Great American Novel,
solved the problems,
killed off the villains,
wedded the heroes, and
tied up the loose ends
of all the characters’ lives,
you are mistaken.
After the book has gone to print,
you will lie awake and think of more.
You will dream
of the unwritten scenes
and the unspoken words.
In your mind
The story will go on
It isn’t over
because you aren’t over,
and as long as you live,
your story will live, too.

Kate, the foundling
Susannah the betrayed
Ruthann and Drew

Penelope Pembroke and her mystery man Sam
Alan and Lenore
Nick and Jean

1 comment:

Donna Alice said...

So very true - this is the way it is for me too! And I have another friend who got to republish one of her first books with the "forgotten" scenes back inside. So maybe if a writer jots down some of those scenes after "the end" they might come in handy as another book or short story or maybe a reprint with the forgotten scenes.