Once again, this is a bit of a short post, I actually wrote this back in October, so as to have a clear run at NaNo. Incidentally, as I post this, my word count is currently just under 30,000. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
The theme of this post is an attempt to answer the question, Where do they all come from?
But let’s be clear, I’m not talking about the words of “Elenor Rigby,” the people I’m thinking off aren’t lonely.
Everyone knows a lot of people, even the ones like me who suffer from social phobia and have few real friends.
We all know or know of, loads of people. They have one thing in common, they all have personalities and traits, all unique and either endearing or irritating. They are what make us who we are, and control how we interact as a society.
So can anyone tell me where my characters come from? They arise from my mind, leaping onto the page fully formed, with consciousness and independent thought in a way that I used to find so frightening.
For example, in the novel I’m writing for NaNo this year, I have a character who lives an alternative life in his dreams. I wondered, am I writing this because I have the ideas for all my books in my head? In my waking life, my head is filled with other worlds and other people and I’m trying to express my struggle with it through the eyes of someone else, who is also in my head. That’s getting complicated. Let me try and put it differently.
In the same way that my hero wonders where his other life comes from, and questions which one of his two lives is the reality, I wonder about the products of my imagination. Are they just products of my imagination?
They must come from somewhere; after all, I don’t know any space explorers, amateur detectives or the heads of interplanetary corporations. And if I did, I would imagine that they wouldn’t share their personality traits with me anyway. We certainly wouldn’t move in the same social circles. I’d never get an insight into how they live their lives, what they do or why.
Where do I get the ideas for them?
I can describe technology that doesn’t exist and places that neither I nor anyone else will ever visit. And although the stories are timeless, in that they’re everyday adventures, the fact that they take place out there, in a world that only exists in my head, makes me wonder about the people who I have chosen to have them.
A person I know said that they couldn’t understand how I could invent and write about such people, how they would never have thought that was all going on in my head.
The thing is, I can’t answer that. I don’t feel like anything is going on in my head, I’m just the conduit for it; wherever it all comes from. I don’t consciously invent, I just observe the film playing in my head and write what I see.
On a philosophical level, do all these people actually exist, or will they? In the same way that George Lucas said ‘A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away,’ are all my characters alive in an alternative universe, with their thoughts and deeds somehow seeping through into our reality, like Pullmans dust?
Perhaps I’m just the only person who can hear them.
So, is it a bit weird to consider that? Discuss below.
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