Bonjour mes petites,
And as I place my fingers upon the keyboard to reach out to you, dear Readers Who Write, I feel a certain powerful link has now been established between us. I, your pedagogue, creator of the seminal classic science-fiction opus, ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’, and you my disciples, minions of literature, striving to bring to birth your first fumbling fantasies.
What, you may wonder, led me to this pivotal point of realisation in our ongoing relationship? Well, it was that I received a missive from one Adoring Fan, asking – nay pleading with me, to come to her aid. And so, moved by her desperate plight, I shall don my metaphorical armour and ride to the rescue on my white charger.
Sometimes my characters do things that I don’t mean for them to do and it affects my plot. What should I do?
How I feel your pain and anguish! It is such a grief when those very characters which you have nursed and nurtured within your own bosom, turn on you like ungrateful lovers and spite your best intentions.
But you must first remember that these characters are brought to birth by the delicate insemination of the Muse into the fecund womb of your own creativity. These are the delightful love-children of Calliope and as such they are bound to challenge your parental authority and demand their own way in all things.
Now, there will be those who will say ‘Be firm!’ and insist you impose your will on these unruly offspring. It is your story and these characters are mere brain-foibles – figments you have postulated to carry the plot. Force them to do what you demand and be done with it!
But to such, I say ‘Fiddlesticks!’ and I say ‘Phooey!’. Those who take such a view understand nothing of the higher levels of authorial inspiration. To them is forever barred the inner sanctum of creative intimacy. They will never know the delight of engaging with the fruits of their literary loins. No, dear Melonie, I counsel you quite otherwise.
Be bold and invite your rebellious muselings to meet with you. Remember, these are not mere stirrings in your synapses, these are real and pure individual characters, formed from the life-breath of your soul. So then, in an atmosphere of trust and empathy brought about by your deep familial bond, open your heart to them and show them the reasons for the choices you wish to make about their lives. And more, you must listen! Listen to their dulcet voices, their tones of appeal, their hopes, their fears, their aspirations. If well done, with the love and compassion every creative parent owes to the true and legitimate heirs of their art, then – and only then – will you reach a consensus and be able to progress.
PS. Please do not address me as ‘Ivy’ again that is a privilege I reserve only to my close and intimate friends and you do not qualify. Unless you happen to have written an incredibly popular fantasy or science fiction book of course, in which case I will send you my contact details by return and we may be able to enter into some form of carefully modulated acquaintanceship.
If you have a literary problem you may avail yourself of one’s wisdom by posting to my Facebook presence.