Something doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what it is. I’m not sure whether something is missing, or I’ve forgotten something. Did something happen to which I should’ve responded, or even noticed? Confusion is squirming behind a veil at the edge of my consciousness at the moment. I know it’s there but I can’t reach it. Can’t see it. Can’t fix it or make it go away.
I think maybe I’m just a little disoriented. It happens sometimes when I’m writing. I get so totally engrossed in the reality I’m creating in my narrative that perspectives blur and it takes a bit of time to remember which reality is which.
It wasn’t so bad when I was writing fantasy adventure for young people. Those worlds were a little easier to distinguish between. But it’s different now.
It’s always a huge relief to hear other writers talk about the way their characters speak to them; the solitary conversations while they’re walking the dog, or driving, or shopping, or lying in bed unable to sleep. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who conducts entire conversations in my head, or with imaginary companions. The concern that I may be teetering on the edge of sanity is mitigated after such revelations.
I know that these ‘voices in my head’ would, under any other circumstances probably be great cause for alarm. But at the moment I just want to know how the 17-year-old boy (key character in my current novel) is going to respond to the situation he is currently facing, without confusing his reactions with those of my young housemate, or my friend’s kid, or that kid I taught all those years ago.
Our characters are often compilations of people we know, or have known. Elements of many combine to create a realistic representation of the emotions, actions and reactions, that make someone human. Fallible. Vulnerable. Real.
It’s when you start calling the people around you by the names of the characters you’re creating that you start getting the raised eyebrow. Who am I talking to?
It’s particularly chilling at the moment because I’m writing crime. I know people like this. People capable of these horrible things. I’ve talked to them, worked with them, had coffee with them. Now I’m not saying that these particular people have committed such atrocities, but I bet they’ve thought about it. Sends shivers down my spine.
Where was I? Oh yeah… something strange is going on…