Imaginary Friends

This month’s topic is, are you ever emotionally drained by writing certain scenes, and how real are your characters to you?

This is how I plan a scene: I “see” and “hear” it as a movie unrolling in front of me with my characters moving and talking. I go through everything along with them. Fortunately, I’m a fast typist, but there are still times when the action has moved on before I get a chance to write it all down.

Ah, reality. Well, when asked where I get the ideas for my books, I usually reply — only half in jest — that my characters wake me in the middle of the night and bug me until I give in, take notes, and agree to write the book.

When I wrote my first science fiction novel, Relocated, my intention was simply to overcome my phobia about writing science fiction. I was — and am — a devoted fan of the genre, which I have been reading since before age ten. To give you some idea, I picked Robert A. Heinlein’s “Farmer in the Sky,” for my tenth birthday, and I knew exactly which book I wanted. To say I’m widely read in the genre is a vast understatement.

Still, up until 2010, I’d never written any, so I decided to go for it and “planned” (see below) my first sci fi novel for Nano.  I didn’t intend to try to get it published. That came later, after I’d written it and revised it and decided that, having devoted all that time and energy to it, I might as well give it a shot. And I certainly didn’t plan to write *more* novels in the series. That came later, when I started wondering about some of the other characters who appear in the first book.

Check out the posts of my fellow participants:
Victoria Chatham
Marci Baun
Margaret Fieland
Judith Copek
A.J. Maguire
Connie Vines
Rachael Kosinski
Dr. Bob Rich htt
Heather Haven
Beverley Bateman
Kay Sisk
Diane Bator
Helena Fairfax
Skye Taylor
Rhobin Courtright

14 thoughts on “Imaginary Friends

  1. Rhobin

    This may be a repeat but I don’t think the previous post went through, cranky computer and security issues. I have wondered though, if our characters are not real people in another universe and somehow as writers we’ve become attached as electrons are entangled in quantum physics, which in effect makes them real in another place and time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret Fieland Post author

      Rhobin, I like the idea of our characters existing in another universe — I’m a firm believer of alternate realities.


  2. Skye-writer

    I like that your characters wake you up at night. That’s happened to me too. I’ve been known to wake my computer up to type frantically to get it all down at some unGodly hour like 3:30 am.


    1. Margaret Fieland Post author

      {grin} I usually grab paper and pen — then, in the morning, I have to try to decipher what I wrote.


  3. Victoria Chatham

    I like your analogy of seeing your characters as if they were in a movie. I know I’m a visual person and suspect a lot of writers are the same.


    1. Margaret Fieland Post author

      {Nods} Right — though I never thought of myself as a particularly visual person before I started writing.


  4. Dr Bob Rich

    You’re lucky to have good imagery. I don’t. So, I can’t use an internal movie.
    But poor ability to image has a benefit: allows me to convert emotions into words. Do you think imagery may possibly get in the way of actually getting INSIDE the person?
    Hey, is that a future topic?


    1. Margaret Fieland Post author

      Bob, When the movie runs, I’m usually in the head of one or another of the characters. Still, it can be tough to get it all down on paper.

      I agree, a great future topic.


  5. Rachael Kosinski

    Margaret, how cool! I think the only books I’ve read that could be considered sci-fi are the Uglies/Pretties/Specials books by Scot Westerfeld, so I’m always intrigued when it’s a person’s favorite genre. 🙂


  6. okwriter

    Interesting post. I can relate to the middle of the night and writing notes for the book. The problem is, sometimes in the morning I can’t read all those wonderful ideas I wrote down.



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