Friday, October 2, 2009

All This Arguing in My Head

I've been having trouble falling to sleep lately. It's been a combination of many things, but one of which is that my new characters don't want to shut up!

In envisioning previous novels, I usually get these sections—sentences, paragraphs, mood-capturing words, scenes, scenery—that spring upon me when I'm nowhere near a computer or piece of paper (like driving, or in the shower, or trying to fall asleep). If they're really good, I'll make a point of rushing to the nearest piece of paper as soon as possible. I've found, though, that everything in these moment of grand insight typically sounds a lot better in my head than it does in writing, and for the most part, it's more important simply for that thought to continue swirling along with a thousand others in the background of my mind, waiting like the perfect soundtrack for when I start writing.

Always before, these flashes of insight into my next story (or any story, really) came to me in the voice of narrator, an overarching voice, with sprinkles of first-person characterization occasionally in dialog I'd love my character to say (or think). It's the way I often dream, which I find amusing, a strange combination of omniscient director's view of a scene being filmed, mixed with moments of starring as the main character.

This new book, the November book that I've tentatively been calling "Sasha" (though my main characters are as of yet unnamed), has been coming to me almost strictly in dialog. The MC (main character) and male lead have a great chemistry, and that chemistry sparks in every situation. Since I've yet to get to the scene where they become emotionally tied and start looking out for each other more than for themselves (or have sex), all that chemistry is coming out in their bickering. Both have something to hide. Both like to throw the other's words back in their face. Both are fast thinkers. Both like to have the last word.

And I love it, don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled to be listening to them in a way I've never "heard" a character before. But not at two AM. All arguments (between characters or in real life) should happen between the hours of 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM and be gotten out of the way so as not to ruin the rest of the day. Now to convince the voices in my head of this.

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