Writer’s Life: Rogue Characters and the Never Ending Argument

The Author shuffles in with her coffee, still yawning. She blinks the sleep from her eyes,  turning on the computer, cursing as she mistypes the password not once, but twice before accessing the current work in progress. Still blinking& yawning, she half mumbles aloud, as the characters assemble around the conference table in her mind.

Author: Ok kids, if I have to be up and working, so do all of you. Where did we leave off?

MC P: <eyeroll> We’re all still stuck in the bloody Tower, because YOU’RE so insistent on dragging me through the stupid ‘documentaries’. I’m tired of it. We should have been out in the field months and months ago, Having adventures, working for the Resistance. But noooo, you had to go and decide to use the movies as exposition. To show me what I missed and how other characters developed to the point they’re at. You could have easily thinned the whole thing down to ONE conversation.

Author: A simple conversation wouldn’t have run nearly as smooth, or had as deep an impact on you. Besides, readers LIKE experiencing the movies through your eyes. It’s a fresh take on them. 

MC P: <arms crossed, shrugging, shaking her head> I don’t care. I’m not doing it anymore. Find a way to fast forward to the action!

Author: <glaring at the petulant heroine> Fine Miss Know-it-all. <points at the white board with the rough outline for the next 60-80 sections of story> And how do you propose we cut 10-15 episodes of character interaction without weakening the framework we spent so long building? JUST so YOU can get back out in the field. Besides, what about the others? <looks around the table>

MC S: <shrugs> Don’t look at me, I’d like to get past all the moping and brooding. <looks at MC P next to him, smiles> I want our HEA.

Author: Oh come on now! You know I can’t just hand you a HEA. You two have to work for that. It’s not nearly as dramatic and entertaining. HEAs are a storykiller. Yes, happiness is important& necessary, but there has to be some bad with the good, to make the happy times all the more rewarding.

MC T: <raises hand> Um, hi. In case you forgot, I’m here too. That next documentary is one of mine, and I could use the ego boost. Not feelin much love in the last few episodes. 

Author: You’re a MC, you’ve been in PLENTY of episodes.

MC T: <hemming and hawing> Yeaaahhh, buuuttt….. <sighing sadly> You made everyone hate me.

Author: <feeling a touch of guilt> I didn’t MAKE them, it just kind of happened. I don’t like the animosity around here either, but that’s part of trying to rebuild what was broken. We’ll get there. <under her breath> I hope.

MC T: <points back at MC P> You let her hit me!

Author: <hands up defensively> I swear I didn’t know she was going to do that! In case you forgot, <points at him angrily> YOU never told me you were going to suit up and crash the stand off. So really, that’s your own damn fault!

MC T: <stutters and stammers> but, but I

Author: <holds up a finger, interrupting him> WHY are my glasses starting to fog up?!

<looks around the conference room, the rest of the characters keeping mum, over in a dark corner of the room, she sees MC P& MC S making out>

Author: GOD DAMN IT YOU TWO! Knock it off! You’re like a pair of unsupervised teenagers! We’re not even close to the steamy scenes yet. Can’t you both PLEASE behave? <both look up, blushing>

MC P: Fine. I’ve got an idea. I’ll sit through the rest of the documentaries, but YOU have to give us another flashback episode. From the war. Full of action and romance.

Author: <hanging her head, sighing, finally nods> IF, I said IF I can find a way to tie a flashback into what going on, I will. I promise. <rubs her temples, looking over the outline notes on the whiteboard>

MC N: <leans over to the others at the table, muttering> So they get all the attention again, while the rest of us are stuck in the back seat. <eyeroll>

Author: <over her shoulder> I HEARD that!

MC C: <shrugs his shoulders> I’m just glad to be here. I still can’t believe they left me out of the last movie.

Author: <turns around, still rubbing her temples> I’m going out for a smoke. Try to behave while I’m gone, all of you?

MC S: You ran out of them last night, go have a twizzler instead.

Author: <cursing, heading for the door> Fine, I’m going to the store. When I get back, WE’RE GETTING SOME GODDAMN WORK DONE!

MC P: <singsong nagging voice> Nasty habit my dear, you really should quit.

Author: Fuck off Peg. <slamming the door>

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