Musical Chairs!

Okay, so this week has been spent playing musical chairs.  Only, there’s little music and it’s really not as fun as I remember playing it when I was a kid – plus there’s no prize at the end.  Well, no I lie there is a prize at the end.  The prize is that after shuffling our kids around, between families, partners, realms, jobs and anything else that they suddenly decide that they want things are a little better.  Our kids are a little happier, and those characters that haven’t been quite as chatty as they once were are now chatting it up like never before.

And then like children in a classroom, they all start talking at once.  You’ve no clue who wants to do what, where to start or even who is saying what.  Which is the point that you put the over excited kids in time out – and hope by the time they’re out again they’re better behaved.

But it is good, we might bitch and complain to one another that ‘oh my god x won’t shut up for two seconds’ but it is good.  After all, what’s the point in us writing if we have quiet characters?  There wouldn’t be much of a story.  It makes our time between our weekend sorting easier, because as we write these stories and the stories that our kids want to tell, we can nudge them here and there and make it all sound better.

That’s the aim at least.  To get there it requires some shuffling around, and okay at the end it means that our editing process will be a little tricky to ensure that we have everything covered and sorted out, but that’s a small price to pay.  In this shuffle around we’ve had to add in a couple of more characters, and it’s one of those things where you think you have everything in place … and suddenly, you realise you need just one more character – or well, one more character and their children!

And that character comes in, acting as though they’ve been around for years and you’ve been ignoring them.  Okay, maybe we had without realising it or knowing that we needed them, but that’s not the point!  Suddenly a character that had long since stopped talking because we decided to twist his story around comes back to life, finding that he’s got what he wanted.  We’ve got him down as a fighter, a warrior and actually whilst he is a fighter, what he really wants is a wife and kids … he’s not as much of a fighter as we were trying to make him out to be.

So our lesson here is that no matter how much we might want to force our characters to do something, to be something it’s not always the best thing for them.  They rebel in shutting down, shutting up and we’ll get to a point where either we’ll get rid of them or figure it out before we get that far.  It’s got to be a hard life, really, being a character in a book!

Which is our weekend.  And once that is done, we’ll treat ourselves to a movie night – something that appeals to us both, easier said than done at times!  But Charlotte is slowly educating me in the art of movies and television, and in return I’m giving her books and between us we’ll have collections of both pouring out of our ears in no time!

~ Clara

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