So what do you do when that cute feisty girl, who you’ve known so well for a year now, comes hovering around, waiting for you to drop everything just so you can chase after her again? In my case I have two options, I can either decide to chase after her right away, or I have to tell her not now, our adventures will have to wait until later. I’m of course talking about my latest character Lin Wu. She’s the character that consumes a lot of my time lately.
Interestingly though, her presence isn’t always welcome. For example, when its family time, sitting on the couch thinking of plots, action, and dialogue wouldn’t be appropriate. Your spouse may have just come home from work and needs you to be attentive to their needs, or your kids may need help with their homework.
Dropping everything to chase after your characters is the most important thing you can do sometimes, especially when you’re close to finishing a book or a short story. But if it gets you an angry scowl from your spouse because you’re in your own world again, you have to let them go, at least for awhile. In the end they are your characters. Your imaginary characters. And a fictional character can easily become just like the other woman if you don’t learn to balance your time.
This is a struggle most writers have to learn to balance. It helps if they have a supportive family who understands that they need time to chase after that girl. But not all writers have that luxury. Some of us have to stay up till the wee hours of the night just to chase after our characters. Other times we may get up early in the morning, before the kids wake up, to pull our characters out of that last pickle we left them in.
Then there’s the rewrite process, where we run with them to the same place over and over again until we feel they’ve got it just right. In fact, I may need to sum up this blog soon. I think I can hear the footsteps of that girl walking up behind me again, ready for me to chase after her to another location we haven’t been to yet..
But before you leave this blog, is there a character that comes around looking for you, who’s always ready for you to chase after them? If so, feel free to share your character or your experiences here. I’d love to hear about them.