Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday's Teaser: Thoughts on Characters...Or Dreams...Or...

I woke up at 3:45 am and thought I was coming out of a dream. After a couple of minutes, it was clear that it wasn't a dream, it was a new character screaming at me. I mean, actually screaming because she was being chased through a forest. Okay, I thought, enough of this. I do not write fairy tales, so shut up and let me go back to sleep.

Except...she was being chased, she was in a forest, and it was not a fairy tale.

Her name is Gabriela, she is Italian, the forest is in New Jersey (?), and somehow a town called Whitesbog is involved.

The thing is...I'm not writing about a character named Gabriela, I know little to nothing about New Jersey ( except that one of the Mafioso Families is there), and I never heard of some place called Whitesbog...if such a place actually exists.

Obviously, this new character has a story she wants me to tell, but right now I have no idea what it is. Whitesbog, New Jersey?? Now I'm intrigued. I must do some research!

A dream? Or can a character actually come into your head, and demand that you tell her story? Even if you have absolutely NO idea what that story is?  Actually, I did have that happen with my very first novel. AJ woke me up one morning about the same time as Gabriela...uh oh, now I'm talking about HER as if she's really going to exist...anyway, AJ wanted her story told, too. But with AJ, I had some idea of what she wanted me to tell, and eventually her story became The Year of the Scream. 

What does Gabriela want? What is her story? Frankly, I can't imagine. Perhaps if I start researching some place called "Whitesbog" to see is there is such a place, I'll have a better idea. Why is she so insistent? I can't get her name out of my head, it's like it is plastered there. When something like that happens with me, I know nothing is going to matter until I get started on the story. Usually, I have at least a few thoughts about the direction it will take. Today? My mind is blank...all I can hear or think about is this little voice saying...Gabriela Gabriela Gabriela.

It's driving me crazy!!

Do you ever have a character wake you up and make demands on you? If so, do you always know WHY this character has shown up so unexpectedly? Please, share your thoughts...you might help me know what to do with this girl !

Until next time,
That's a wrap.


  1. Mikki, go with it! I think you are right, the research will open your mind. I LOVE dreaming of characters. Good luck!

  2. Mikki, I love dreaming characters, too. My last one was a green worm who coughed and split into two and something even more bizarre happened after that. I'll be writing about this as a verse for children. Why waste dreams, eh?

  3. This has happened to me a few time, including right now. I have a very vague novel idea and it won't leave me alone. But I don't know the whole story at all. Just the MC and one other character. I actually sat down to a blank screen on Monday and just let her (my MC) talk. I needed to see where she was going so I could get a better feel for her and the story she is demanding to tell. It did help doing this. I don't have the whole story yet, but I have a better idea of it and my MC. You might want to try it.

  4. Yes, flesh it out and tell Gabriela's story. Also, if you haven't already, check out the history of Whitesbog NJ.

  5. Thanks for your comments, everyone! Right now, I'm doing a final ( I hope) edit on my very first novel which I'm submitting on Dec. 1st, and am finishing up an edit on my fantasy novel. But I've got a file started on "Gabriela", and Rick, I did look up Whitesbog, not serious research yet, but Iknow that it once was famous for cranberries and blueberries, and is now partly a ghost town.

    Kelly, when I can grab a few minutes, I'm going to let Gabriela start talking. I've got a bit of an idea about what she wants to say, just haven't had the time to let her get going...you know how these girls are, once they open their mouths you cant shut them up!