Friday, October 29, 2010

Character Overload

I was hit yesterday with a severe case of character overload. If you’re a writer, I know this has happened to you. It may even happen to a reader if you read several books at the same time. How do you do that last thing, you ask? I don’t have a clue, but one of my friends says she does, so I doubt she’s alone. Anyway, my definition of character overload is a condition in which all the characters you have, whether in books being edited, in the work you’re currently writing or who are plotted and awaiting their opportunity for the turn of your pen (or computer keystroke), begin to war in your mind for dominance.

When this happens to me, I find myself balanced on a piece of threadlike wire, hopping from thought to thought and unable to settle down and make noticeable progress in one project, ANY project. Yesterday, Editor 1 sent me a proof to go over one last time in the middle of my doing front edits for Editor Number 2. Five minutes after Editor number 1 set me the proof, a potential Editor Number 3 sent me a note saying she loves my book and please send the whole manuscript. Then there’s the proposal I just sent off to a potential Agent Number 1 re: yet another work.

I doubt I’ll ever have Alzheimer’s because my mind gets a great work out. I may, however, end up with one heck of a case of multiple personality disorder. So, as a result of all this, it’s time to sit back and entertain you with a fractured harried married writer poem, Character Uprising.


My characters are not too pleased,
With whom I’ve written them to be,
They’ve been grumbling, and they might
Form a union, go on strike.

It seems my hero thinks I’ve goofed,
By showing he’s a bit aloof,
My heroine wants to have big breasts,
Now she has a small flat chest.

The other beings moan and wail,
They claim there’s not enough detail,
And all of them agree they’re not,
Happy with my crafted plot.

My hero says that he will fight,
Until I make him more a knight,
My heroine has clammed right up.
Until she’s curvy, she won’t budge.

And as for all the rest of them,
They’re plotting wildly, full of vim
And vigor, certain they can steal,
My story, make it seem quite real.

And there I sit and cannot write
Because they finally went on strike,
Crushed, I give up, let them tell
Me how to write them so they’ll sell.

The moral of this all you see,
Is let your story be set free,
Ask the people in your tale,
To write themselves, and you won’t fail.

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