The Character and Me

I often develop relationships with my characters when I’m writing a novel. It’s not surprising for them to be with me at a movie. Sometimes, as I respond to something, I always think about how they would respond, as an exercise to better understand them.

This arrangement leads the characters to be vocal about what’s going on. When I struggle through a scene, it’s not surprising to discover that the character is doing something that they believe is contrary to what the would do. It’s an odd, true north alignment. I created, or discovered them; I believe I know them best. Yet, they will reject a path that they feel is wrong for them. Their rejection is displayed through a work slowdown.

That’s not what transpired this week. I was writing, and going along fine. Yet, several things that the character did or said bothered me. The writing didn’t suffer. It flowed with no problem or stoppages.

I considered this today while I was walking. Although I was surprised, and I shouldn’t be, the character explained why he wasn’t bothered by what was happening. His explanation opened an entire rue of thinking about the situation. I’d been thinking about that situation in terms of plot, story arc, and activity. The character has been reacting to how it affected him. 

I was pretty astonished and pleased. His explanation to me opened a new paragraph and facets of him and the situation that I’d overlooked. It’s exciting and stimulating.

Here we go. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

The Future Dream

I’ve endured a surfeit of dreams this past week. Many stayed with me. I can’t say they all did. I don’t know if that’s true.

One particularly striking dream dominated. The dream setting was simple. Basically, um, me. Not the whole me, either, but head, neck, a bit of torso, and shoulders, the traditional bust sculptor. I knew I was sitting, and dressed in a light blue Oxford shirt, like the sort I favor. I don’t know where I was. The background was a favoring blue sky rich with sunshine over a calm ocean. Green hills sloped down to the ocean. Some of this strikes me as Mediterranean in retrospect.

Others were there, never seen, but sometimes heard, males and females. They could have been one of each, or more. I never saw them. They were commentators, commenting on me, and my activities. On my part, I was looking into the future. In the first stages of this, it troubled me, because I wasn’t correctly seeing the future. The commentators, in their dry, pithy way, said, “Okay, that’s fine, you’re just starting. Take your time. Try again.” Sometimes they spoke of me in the third person, “He’s fine, let him try again.”

Arms crossed against that background, all I did was sat, look, and listen. A soft breeze tousled my hair as the future was fed to me. As that happened, I assimilated it and explained what I saw. Part of this, my dream-self knew, was to make it my own, but I was also explaining to gain feedback and improve my comprehension.

It went thus for a while, with the commentators speaking more often as my visions clarified and my confidence waxed. Like teachers, they would sometimes say, “That’s right.” A female more often told me that. The dream ended with me happy, with a male commentator saying, “Okay, he’s got it. He knows how to see the future.”

Naturally, awakening, the dream pleased me. But I was also dissatisfied, because I couldn’t remember any of the future I was purported to see. That fits better with my personal philosophy; I think the future is wholly malleable. There’s probably more than one future in my future. I may skate between them, but chances are, I’ll mostly travel through one.

Even if I’m wrong, it was such a pleasant, powerful, and affirming dream.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I’m back-upped with music, dreams, and writing today. I took my monthly swim in the dark waters for a few days. Now, breaking surface, a survivor one more time, my creative and artistic energies are lit up.

For the musical theme portion, so many songs streamed through me last night and today. I finally went with an odd choice. My love of music comes from Mom. I’m sure. I once asked Dad what music he liked to listen to; he shrugged. Mom, though, put albums on whenever she cleaned, and Mom was, and is, passionate about keeping her house clean. Music was always playing. One guy she really enjoyed was Frank Sinatra.

I can understand why. Sinatra had a big voice and style. This song, “That’s Life,” has been covered by some great talents. I especially enjoy Shirley Bassey’s cover, because I like Shirley Bassey. But I stayed with Frank’s cover, because that’s the one streaming through my head today. I thought about doing David Lee Roth’s version, just for the hell of it, but that was rejected.

Got to love these words, right?

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