I’ve just finished watching a series called ‘River’. It’s a great story that revolves around a man who hears voices, and sees them… As I was watching a rabbit in armour was sitting on my shoulder and screaming a war cry, whilst a woman was crouched in the corner of the room crying because life had become so hard since her fiancé had died….
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am losing my mind… At least no more than any writer, but I do hear voices and see characters. I can’t help it. Plots evolve as I’m shopping and in the quiet moments I can find myself talking to characters that I had thought were only half-formed; watching them grow and become three-dimensional.
I found that I had an affinity with the character, River, on the TV screen. As he screamed against the problems with his mind, I smiled at the rabbit and comforted the woman. They are my characters and maybe I’m a little crazy but I have got to embrace my differences. I can’t try to ‘fix’ my head or get counselling because there is nothing wrong with me – I’m a writer.
Do I want to silence the voices? No… I want to embrace them and invite more. I turned to the short story submissions today and thought about the year… I have barely submitted any. So I wondered to my short story portfolio and opened it… (Yes, it is a physical file… I just love being able to rifle through it).
There is nothing left. Everything is either out or has been published.
It stumped me. So as I watched ‘River’ I realised that as he struggled to become ‘normal’ I need to invite more characters in. I need to create plots and populate worlds.
Right now though my characters are suggesting a cup of tea and some chocolate… I may take their advice.
Note: The armoured rabbit is a character that has been knocking around for a children’s story. He is very persistent and very bloodthirsty. In fact, he is very un-rabbit like.