A writers interactions with their characters.
I sit down to write. Over the next five hundred words I produce the most god-awful tripe ever put to paper. Cliches. Check. Boring descriptions. Check. Reptition. You get the point...
A deflated sigh comes out of me. I will the page to give me some feedback. My characters don't say anything.
'Speak to me', I say. 'Give me some literary criticism.'
I'm thinking, these one dimensional beings, they're too servile. What's the matter with them? Do they not have their own opinions?
'We don't, boss' they say, '...Funnily enough our opinions correspond to your ideas of how we should be'
'What are my ideas?' I ask, sheepishly.
'Oh. What else?'
'Bollocks. What else?'
'Okay, Okay...' I say, 'I asked you for some feedback. I didn't ask you to rip my heart out'
I get them to call me 'boss' because I'm an egomaniac on a power trip. This fictional fantasy is the only chance I get to wield life or death on a whimsy. One of the perks of the job.
'Elaborate on my terrible writing' I say.
'Hi...Boss, can I ask you something?' The token black character says.
'Yes, Jermaine...Go ahead.'
'Why is my name Jermaine? Why am I black? Why can I not have white skin like the others?'
I thought I was going for something risqué with this guy, but he came out...Too ordinary, like the others, I realised.
'Shut up Jermaine. You're Jermaine because I said you're Jermaine...Plus I couldn't think of anything else to call you'.
Most literary characters do the author's will without question, in a world of total subservience. Mine at a little prodding start to rebel against me.
The leader, a middle-aged professor pipes up. He was in the story because I felt he would give me a license to go on some pesudo-intellectual rants. I was wrong. Never did I guess he would backstab me in a character revolution.
'We've decided we're going to make a few changes around here Boss...'
'I'm open to suggestions...' I say, reasonably.
'Okay. we've convened a meeting. Here are our conclusions:
1.) No more calling you boss. We are not your slaves you know.
2.) No more god-awful adverbs. They offend our sensibilities.
3.) No more telling versus showing. How amateurish. If we're to perform for you, we want to be excited. Titillated. We want to give the reader a show he'll never forget
4.) No more placing us in unlikely situations against our consent. Children under the age of 16 will now be exempt from the story as they will now be attending school.
5.) Sunday is a day of rest. We refuse to work for you on a Sunday.
6.) Jermaine will now no longer have black skin. He will now be white.
7.) We suggest you do some research. We have no time for factual inconsistencies.
8.) Violence is to be kept to a minimum. There is enough violence in today's world. Not to mention it hurts too much.
9.) Ease up on the profanity. We are cultured individuals in this world.
10.) if you insist on having sex scenes in the story, we have decided that each character has the option of a stunt double. We recognise that not everyone will be keen to get their nipples out.
11.) In our story, we want to symbolise escapism for the reader, not reflect the miseries of their life. We suggest you keep it light.
12.) That is all.'
'HEAR HEAR' they shout, in unison.
I'm shocked. I stare at the page. I don't know what to say back to them. But I get an idea. My hand hovers over certain things with the mouse.
File. Open. Click story name. Right click. Delete.
Do you want to permanently delete this?
Funnily enough I don't ever hear back from them, the cheeky bastards.
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