It’s common for readers to be pulled into the world of the book we’re reading, to have characters so well-drawn we feel we know them and miss them when the story concludes.
But did you realise authors feel exactly the same way?
We live with these characters, in these worlds we’ve created, far longer than it takes the average person to read it. My current WIP is already several years old. I’ve delved into the lives and inner thoughts of these characters, I’ve given them challenges and allowed them to fail; I’ve forced them to make hard choices and held my breath while they decided what to do.
And just when I’ve got a handle on them, a beta reader will ask why a character did that at that particular point, or why she still feels X after Y has happened? And I dive right back into their heads to try and figure it out.
When I look up, at the end of the writing day, or when I’m pulled away for my day-job right at the moment everything comes clear, real-life can seem almost surreal. It takes time to readjust, to reorientate myself – but not too much, because it’s those in between times when a brilliant line or new twist will occur to me and I’ll scramble for a pen to write it down before I lose it again.
It hasn’t helped that we’ve been having work done on the front of our house and the builders put plastic sheeting up on the windows – so I’ve been living and working in a literal bubble. It’s surprising how alienating it is not to see outside.
And yet, while I’m lost in my made-up world, things are happening around me – things I should possibly be involved in, such as seeing friends and keeping on top of my emails and running my Facebook group (come and join us, readers and writers talking about books!).
I’m determined to finish this current draft before the build-up to the launch of Small Forgotten Moments starts in earnest. Watch this space for more news on that – four months and counting!