"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Nod to my Imaginary Friend

Once again I find myself over 100 pages into something only I have read so far. I worry if I am saying too much or not enough. Dreams--bad and good--transfer from my dozing mind to my waking fingers to the blizzard of ones and zeroes that all corporations say will--this time--be kept safe from harm and hack. But no matter where I put these thoughts, they keep haunting me.

Theme: sometimes the musing world becomes more real and potent than the physical world.

These days, to write what I know is to delve into the concepts of loneliness and solitude (which thoughtful beta dogs like me know are two different things). It's a marvelous landscape only known by those of us who sometimes stop the car at the farthest point between two freeway exits...just cuz! 

Still, solitude is corruptible. Loneliness results. And over 100 pages into a story about both, it just got to be too much last week. I would lie in bed in the early morning, awake and physically ready to get out of bed and start typing. But I would procrastinate. Because I already have my own loneliness and solitude issues, why am I piling on a second set of almost identical issues my protagonist faces? So...

This week I rescued myself and my protagonist, for a little while anyway. This week I let a minor character, a snappy goofy fellow, step up and be the focus. Why? Because I needed him too.

Ultimately, will the novel need this supporting character as much as I needed him this week? Will this jocular fella survive to the final draft? Will I?

Hard to say. It will be my job as writer to craft him or kill him as the demands of the story dictate. But this week I really needed him. This week his presence helped me and my protagonist make it from Monday to Saturday without missing a writing session. Thank you, N_____.

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