Monday, August 17, 2015

When Characters Drive You Crazy

I have two characters, Remy and Lissa, who have been trying to tell me their story in a coherent manner since springtime. I have written about them in a series of three short stories. I have written a novella about them. They are a potent pair- volatile together, but also possessed of a volcanic passion for one another. Outside forces, like her father who hates him, her mother who secretly adores him, because she herself has had an affair with Remy's Uncle Max in the past, the stoic, yet, jealous Janet, with whom Max had fraternal twins Flash and Blade, who are in fact Remy's half-brothers, not his cousins as he believes, because Max is actually Remy's father too. Their connections are twisted and coming unraveled as the major events of their lives play out.

I have major events written throughout the series of stories- maybe 7 or 8 in total now- and can honestly say that Remy and Lissa have been put through the wringer more than any other characters I have ever created and written about- and though they argue and disagree and get angry with one another, they work through their issues and find a path on which they can continue their journey together.

Remy's extended family may be dysfunctional and unconventional, but they stick together through thick and thin as well. Lissa's family, seemingly idyllic has deep fractures that are only slowly revealed- that reveal why she is the way she is. Only Remy understands her because he is the only one she feels safe enough confiding her secrets in, despite all that they have been through in the past.

They have a story to tell but it is so convoluted and complicated that it keeps expanding outward...I cannot contain it. They are running rampant over the days of my life, trying to tell me everything at once in a hit & miss fashion. I keep writing what they're telling me, what they have to say, but then they say, "No! No! No! Not like that- like this!" and off they go again, reinventing facts and details.

They are haunting my life, leading me around in circles. I am trying to capture them and the people in their loves- I have done something I seldom do as a writer- I have begun writing notes about everything in their world. I had sketchy things noted down here and there that I had to search the chaotic dining room table to find in the wee hours of the morning. I have begun fleshing them out a little more, even though they sprang to life quite vivid already.

This reminds me of Colorforms. I used to have Colorforms when I was a kid and I loved them. In reality, it was a pretty static and maybe boring toy- static figures you could dress and accessorize with little bits of flat plastic that adhered to themselves.  I liked to layer on the clothes and accessories, the add items to the background to complete the scene. That is what is happening here. I am layering the characters, adding the background- building the world in which they live and interact with the other characters, some major, many minor.

Remy and Lissa are driving me crazy- I'm thinking NaNo Novel for them this November, but maybe they will start to get their act together during vacation in September? Kelly wants the third Ghost Chasers novel this year for NaNoWriMo. Yes, those characters have been patiently waiting for more of their stories to be told, too.

I don't know right now what will happen in the future with these characters. Time will tell.

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