Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My characters need a time-out . . .


When my kids were small, I employed the ‘time-out’ system. Sometimes it was one of my children (the instigator), at other times, all three ended up in time-out--just for a little mom peace and quiet. Even I occasionally served time-out (when I couldn’t think of a fesible, adult way to handle the latest, drama-queen or drama-king crisis, I pulled a Napoleon and retreated behind closed doors. Quick regroupings can be the only thing that saves a mom's sanity). At my mommy meanest, I’ve even sentenced unsuspecting toys (normally the culprit for whatever was wrong in that moment) to a life-term in the chair.

While, those days are in the past for me, I’m seriously considering a re-instatement of the ‘time-out’ program. My characters, in my WIP, TRICKLE OF LIES, are headed there in a serious way.

Today, they absolutely wouldn’t play nice and not a single word came from their collective mouths that didn’t require intense rework.

It was five pages of mush that had to be body-slammed, I'm talking body-slammed by a Sumo Wrestler, in order to find anything useable. Five pages and multiple hours. Nope, I'm not going to admit how long it took me to make these characters behave. Let's just say, I could have enjoyed a day at the spa for all the time I invested.

Someone told me this writing job was fun. Who was it? Oh yeah, heard it in the news.

Last week--some news story or another--claimed to know the top jobs that made people the happiest:
TOP position: anything in the religious industry (pick a clergy and they were happy)
SECOND position: firefighters (apparently saving people is a real natural high)
THIRD position: physical therapists (okay, I don’t even have to explain this one)
AND, drum roll . . .
FOURTH position: authors (seriously, the interviewer for this news program had to blindside authors in the middle of happy hour.)

So, here’s how I sum it up – twisted, sicko that I am:
If you talk to God, (clergy)
Get to play God, (firefighter)
Enjoy God’s creatures (physical therapist)
OR
As an author, simply get to be God, {remember, it’s authors who can legally kill characters off and no body says a word}. Well, I guess maybe that’s why authors are happy. I sure thought it was the booze.

2 comments:

Shannon Canard said...

This made me laugh. Writing makes authors happy? I'm going to print that and tape it to the wall over my monitor.

I've always wondered though, does writing make authors crazy, or are they crazy before they begin writing? It's kinda a chicken and egg sorta question.

Sherry Davis said...

This was too funny! I think the progression here is quite illuminating. Lots of faith (talking to God), putting out fires(in an attempt to rescue the plot/ms) and analyzing characters(psychotherapy) happen before the writing is polished enough to send out the door.

I really think we wear all three hats. I'm interested to know which writers they polled for this. Obviously, some are having more fun than others! :)

Write on!

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