Help! I’ve been kidnapped and am being held hostage by my characters. They won’t let me go. They’ve invaded my mind and silently watch, waiting for their opportunity to remind me they have strong voices that demand to be heard. Strong wills and desires they can no longer hide. Just when I think I’m in control, they pounce like a feline. They grab hold of my situation and twist it to their personal agenda. They massage my thoughts and intertwine them with their own insecurities.
Happy November to all the NaNoWriMo participants – and to everyone else as well. I’ve been feverishly cranking out words towards my new novel, ‘The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives’. We’re 12 days in, and I’m 22K words into my 50K goal. All of a sudden, I’ve felt on edge: anxious, insecure, stubborn, depressed, lonely, and a whole slew of other emotions I can’t put my finger on. I can’t figure out if I’m overtired, putting too much pressure on myself, or if my life is just going down the toilet.
Alas, this morning, I solved my problem: My characters have taken over my life!!!
Yeah. My life is good and there is no reason my perception is being twisted by these emotions. Each thought I’m experiencing is what I’ve been writing about. THEY ARE NOT MY THOUGHTS. THEY ARE WHAT MY CHARACTERS WOULD THINK. The problem: my lines between the written word and reality began to blur. But the first step in a cure is recognition of the problem.
I’ve always been way too empathetic, now, I’m doing it with imaginary people!
My new novel has three different story lines, following three women and the superhero in their life. (And yes, we’re talking literal superheroes… with superpowers) The balance of three main character’s personalities is exhausting. Plus you add in their (ex)husbands personalities, and you end up with a tornado of emotions… no, a hurricane.
Novel premise: The superhero always gets the girl, right? Ever wonder what happens next?
- Ariana is recently married. She struggles with the challenges of adjusting to married life.
- Victoria is divorced, but her ex-husband won’t leave her alone.
- Emma’s been married six years and struggling with a husband whos duty seems to come before her.
I have two hopes.
- That I don’t have this backwards and my emotions are actually taking over my characters or that seeing the characters display their flaws gives me permission to do it too.
- That all this turmoil will make the characters come to life on the page for whoever ends up reading this novel.
So… The moral of this story? My next novel will need to have an intelligent, witty, caring, and… CHARMING protagonist. I give that one permission to take over my life. Maybe I should give up on NaNoWriMo today and start that story instead!
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Who’s in charge? You or your imaginary people?