If you are reading this, then perhaps you (like me) live in a country where Halloween isn’t a big deal, and there aren’t little children or rebellious teenagers with eggs trick-or-treating and ringing the bell every five minutes to break your concentration.
If that’s the case, rest assured I sympathise.
I had a bit of a surreal experience on my way home from work today. Maybe it’s the whole Halloween spirit thing, but the all-around atmosphere today was a bit strange.
So, I’m in a cab going home after having drinks with some friends (or “a” drink with friends, in my case, plus an orange-looking shot), and out of nowhere, one of my characters popped into my head. And we had this positively bizarre imaginary dialogue.
“So,” she said, crossing her arms, “A little blue brain cell tells me you’re trying to kill me.”
I’m not really comfortable with confrontation in real life, so I wasn’t surprised when I ended up being a wimp inside my head. “What do you mean?” I asked her, innocently. She shook her head.
“Save it,” she said, “I know everything.”
She was being paranoid, I told her. Kill her? Of course not. Her life was only just beginning; I was still developing her plot. Killing her now would be a serious mistake. She looked at me sideways. “You mean that?” Of course I do. I had created her especially for the first manuscript I was actually serious about finishing. I’m only just past 10,000 words; we don’t even know each other that well yet. Besides, she certainly shouldn’t believe any little blue brain cell that comes along with a piece of information which might already be outdated. And no, that didn’t mean I had actually thought of killing her. Ever.
We had this little back and forth until I realised we were in my driveway and the cabby was asking for his fare for the second time. I paid him and left an appropriate tip – not so low he would think I’m stingy, and not so high he would think I’m a wealthy, full-fledged crazy person.
As soon as I stepped out of the car, my character was gone. I wasn’t sure if this meant she believed me or not; I’m sure she still has her doubts.
And this was when I realised I had just discovered the downside of creating suspicious characters. Her husband might be cheating on her in my story (he isn’t), but let’s all go haunting the author because of brainless gossip…
Have a spooky evening, and thanks for reading.