And They All Went Away

As many of you know, it took over 30 years from
inception to publication for Love’s
. During that time, Emily and Jonathon and the other characters
always lived in my mind. Over the last year as I was revising Love’s Destiny and writing Love’s Spirit, the characters were
actively talking, moving, and living in my mind’s eye. Yes, most authors will
admit that we hear voices and when characters speak, we had better be ready to
write down what they say.

My husband Rich recognizes that faraway look in my
eye when my characters are speaking to me. He laughs and realizes I must write
before I lose the scene. And that is how it appears to me—as if I am watching
the scene unfold. Or I hear a conversation that characters are having as if
they were sitting next to me.
Recently, I finished my manuscript for Love’s Spirit. As the plot converged and
loose ends were neatly tied up, I felt an energy driving me as I wrote. Finally,
all had been resolved, I had written what I considered to be the last scene,
and it was a very satisfying ending. But I knew somehow that it was not the
last scene; there was another scene, but my characters had not revealed it to
me yet. I mulled this over throughout the evening, but I was not inspired.  In the morning, I felt another surge of
energy and sat down at my computer. The scene unfolded as I wrote and I knew it
was the one I had been waiting for. I smiled as I wrote it, and the characters
seemed to cheer me on. And when I typed the last word, they all went away.
These characters who had been living with me,
talking to me, prodding me, scolding me, for over 30 years were now gone.
Silence. Peace. Satisfaction.  It was not
a sad departure, but rather the feeling I get when I’ve hosted a wonderful
gathering and the guests have just left. I felt happy, and weird as it sounds,
I knew my characters were happy, too.

8 thoughts on “And They All Went Away

  1. Beautiful post, Betty. I am looking forward to reading Love's Spirit (I adored Love's Destiny!). I feel the same way when I finish a manuscript – but I always try to leave a little wiggle room, in the event I want to write a sequel. I'm bad that way. 🙂

  2. You captured exactly how I feel when I finish a book. Lovely piece. Odd, isn't it, that the people we've invented sometimes seem more real than the real people we see in the grocery store?

    • So true, Peggy! When I was first writing Love's Destiny, I used to look around to see what men most looked like Jonathon (none of them, I have a clear image in my brain) Characters do become dear friends.

  3. So familiar and beautifully put. We make friends and form relationships with our characters. They're more than just abstract sketches on paper or screen. These people live and breathe and want to express themselves. We need to share them as much as they need to be heard but sometimes those partings are bittersweet. At least in romance we know there'll be a happy ending. That helps when it's time to say good-bye.

  4. I totally get the "talking to, scolding and prodding". Sentences and words keep dive bombing me. I aspire to be at peace and crave the satisfaction like you have found. Thanks for the great post!

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