Who’s in charge here?
Sometimes the characters in my novels spring to rather scary life. In my head, I mean. I don’t see hallucinations. Initially, I control the plot and the characters. I decide what they say, what they do, how they feel – well, you get the picture right? As the characters flesh out, they start deciding what to say or do.
“I wouldn’t say that,” a grumpy Alexandra Lind tells me. “No way would I say something that soppy.”
“It’s not soppy,” I protest, “it’s just a bit touchy-feely.”
“Soppy.” She clamps her mouth shut and I sigh, realising I will have to change that particular piece of dialogue unless I want her to go very uncooperative on me.
“No,” Matthew Graham tells me a few pages later on. “No sane man would do something like that.” He stretches to his full six feet three (He does that on purpose, he knows just how much I enjoy feasting my eyes on him) and gives me a smile. His light hazel eyes glint very green, and without quite knowing how I’ve rewritten the scene in question. He chuckles and wanders off to have a private discussion with Alex, a low toned conversation that involves a number of looks thrown my way. Alex laughs, a gurgling contagious sound, and even if I know they’re conspiring against me, I can’t help but laugh as well.
“We’re thinking this is a where you need some action,” Alex says some minutes later. She tweaks at her skirts and mumbles something about it being very restrictive to a woman to wander about with skirts down to her ankles. Tough, honey. You’re in the seventeenth century now, and unless you want me to write you out of the story line … I throw Matthew a meaningful look.
“Of course I don’t,” she snaps. Her eyes rest on this new male acquaintance of hers (they’ve only known each other for like four weeks at this point) and her whole face softens. Aww. Right; get a grip, dear author, there are scenes to write, things to do.
“Action, you said?” I say.
“Action,” Alex nods.
“Fine. Action you want, action you get.”
Half an hour later Matthew is a panting heap and Alex is kneeling beside him. “He’s hurt!”
Yes he is, the back of his shirt drenched in blood. “You wanted some action,” I tell her and feel a vague sense of satisfaction at getting my own back.
Two pairs of eyes glare my way.
I swallow. “It’s me who’s the writer,” I say, and it comes out rather squeaky.
“Fix him,” Alex growls.
I shake my head. “That’s your job. Make the most of it, okay?” Which, dear reader, she does. Savvy girl, Alex Lind. I wonder where she gets that from?