Friday, June 7, 2019

When your character won't talk

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

I'll admit it. I've been struggling. The character I love above all the ones I've ever created is Jeff Resnick. He's been with me for a very long, long time. I tested him out in fan fiction (back in the day I was writing that), not once, but twice. So when I was sure I knew his history, I began writing the Jeff Resnick Mysteries.

I had planned to write a book for Jeff and his brother, Richard, during the first quarter of this year. But the thing is ... Jeff wasn't talking to me. He's got a lot on his plate and he just isn't ready to share that with me. It has both confused and confounded me.  I know him better than anybody on the planet and I cannot figure out where he's coming from.

I 'd given myself from January until the end of May to write his latest adventure and I've barely scratched 7,000 words.

My plan was to start writing Booktown #14 as of June 1st, only I didn't know that I would be slapped with the copy edit for Victoria Square #6 (Murder Ink)  just two days before that.  So, I spent four days going over that copy edit and began Booktown #14 on Tuesday. Holy cow! If Jeff wasn't willing to talk to me, Tricia has been a complete blabbermouth. No sooner did I start to think about the next (and possibly last) Booktown Mystery than Tricia started dictating what I should write. The ideas seemed to flow like lava spewing from a volcano. In 48 hours, I had written more than 5,000 words an had ideas for at least 50% of the book.

So now I'm feeling lost and hurt. Jeff has been with me for a lot longer than Tricia. Why is he holding back?

Yeah, I know it sounds stupid. Jeff and Tricia are fictional characters, but they also speak to me. I'm sure I'm not the only author who feels this way about her characters. So, Tricia and I will be spending the summer together. And my Victoria Square co-author, Gayle Leeson, and I will be spending time with Katie Bonner and her crew of vendors, friends, and (possible) lovers during that same timeframe. I can only hope Jeff will get over his baggage and soon start talking to me again, because I need to reconnect to him like I would a long-lost relative or friend.

In the meantime, I'll just keep plugging along and hope that Jeff gets over whatever  is bugging him and wonder if it isn't MY baggage that's keeping me from writing about his.

What do you think?

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