The Screen Time Wars -or- Characters Feeling Their Oats

naughty-kids-12Being over halfway done with The Hushing Days and the rest of it outlined down to its very marrow, I was a little surprised yesterday by the shuffling…

And the shoving…

Not to mention the hair-pulling…

And the knees to the groin.

By this time in the creative process, the characters in my Revolutionary War-era drama are pretty much defined. Their personalities have been sketched out with only a few metaphorical freckles and bellybuttons to add.

In short, they are their own people.

And, in short, they should gosh darn know their place in the novel by now!

When I sit down to write, there should be no jockeying for position in front of the “camera.” Tussling over screen time and who should be where in each shot just shouldn’t be happening.

It shouldn’t.

“We’re all professionals here, so let’s start acting like it!” I screamed at some hazy point in the chaos yesterday. (Of course I had to repeat myself three times as the catfight between Willoughby and Easter in front of the makeup trailer had stolen the attention of the whole lot. Petticoats and pattens were flying. I had to duck a muff myself, at one point.)

So, the moral of this posting is this: Be prepared.

No matter how far along you are in the writing of your book, be prepared for the characters to start feeling their oats and start bucking for attention.

My advice?

Act accordingly.

Act loudly.

And duck.

Until tomorrow…


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