My Poor Characters

Writer’s block?? I don’t know what that is, because I’d hoped it would never apply to me.

So, as instructed by writing experts,  I have developed my characters.  Did it about 2 years ago.  So for awhile now, my characters have been waiting on me.   They each have a name, a family, issues in their past, likes, dislikes, personality traits, goals/aspirations.  They each come with an elaborate backstory (which I’ll have to weave in) as they each make their personal debut.

So my characters sit and wait.  Like on the set for a movie, sitting in costume, waiting to step into their respective roles.  They’re bored.   I imagine my protagonist male character lying on his back on a bench, one leg hanging off, the right forearm covering his eyes.  The characters at his scene have small-talked ad nauseam.  They have nothing to talk about except what has already been scripted for them.  The only thing they have in common with each other is the storyline I created.

There they sit, on the set, stuck at a scene, waiting for the director (me) to deliver their next lines.  I haven’t done so in weeks.  Writer’s block??  I don’t know what that is, because I’d hoped it would never apply to me.

By the way, the setting where they wait is in rural Louisiana, where it’s hot and steamy.  Agonizingly uncomfortable.  Some have loosened their costumes, and kicked off their shoes.  Those who have a part near the fetid swamp have to endure it, because at any time, I might pick up that section and edit it.  I expect them to jump up and resume their positions in the scenes.  I might waver them back and forth for awhile.  Take them this way, then no, that way.  But they tolerate it.  All the time.  They’re my characters.

I do care for them,  my patiently-waiting characters.  My men- and ladies-in-waiting.  I haven’t forgotten them.  They are relying on me to come around.  So, I will.  Stay tuned.

(republished from old website)


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11 Responses »

  1. It’s perfectly understandable that you’re not going anywhere with your characters. It happens sometimes. Writer’s block? No, you’re just regrouping.

    However, your characters are planning mutiny. They tend to be demanding people (mine are anyway). They want to direct you and not the other way around.

    You’ll hear from them when you least expect it. You’ll be walking or driving or at some venue where silence is required …and guess what? You won’t be able to shut them up. Keep a notebook or tape recorder handy. You will need it. Thanks for stopping by, liking and commenting on my post.


    • Regrouping is a better way to put it, it’s true. And you’re right, a tape recorder is handy to have, (but then by the time I listen to it, I will have changed some things… thanks for visiting mine, too.

  2. There was a period of time during my writing that I have gone MONTHS without writing a word even though my characters were always in the back of my mind. It will come, and it will be amazing! 🙂 Good luck!!

  3. Here’s a scary thought: maybe they’re not waiting patiently for you at all, maybe they’re partying behind your back. Or worse, they might have popped out for a pizza while you weren’t looking. Are you sure they’re still there? When did you last check on them?
    Love this idea, by the way, I’m off to create some characters now – and a sofa for them to sit on, in a room with no doors so they can’t escape!

  4. I LOVE this post!! I can definitely relate. I am currently beginning my first novel and my characters are still in my head…..ehh, marinating, you could say. 🙂 I am so glad to see someone put the frustrating process of writing a novel in words….thank you!

  5. Love this post, it’s so spot on. My characters you with me I think, they give me just enough to think ‘oh today I’ll have a good won or three chapters put down!’ And then they sit back and laugh.

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Writing Goals

My First Completed EbookNovember 11th, 2013
I will put my first Ebook on Amazon

The Background: Swamp Scene in Avoyelles Parish

The scene is a swamp in Louisiana, my home state. It is also the setting of my beloved story that I will finish one day, even if I have to take it up to Heaven in a folder with a pen. God would say, "you're still carrying around that thing?" I would nod my head and give him a humble blink, my pen and paper in hand. He would then ask, "so how are you going to get it to your audience when you're done?" I would gulp and give him another humble blink. Then I'd look down at my work and a grin would grow on my face . . . (you won't get it until after you read my book, once I do finish it. . .)
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