I doubt that Jessica can hear my eyeballs roll, but I sure wish she could. “How the hell would you know, you’re fictional?”
“So, you’re telling me it’s spelled correctly?”
“Hmmm denial, that’s new for you. Are you gonna eat that?”
“Again, fictional!” I move my donut a couple inches back. Just in case.
“So, that’s a yes? You are eating it?”
“What is wrong with you? You don’t even have a digestive tract! How do you plan on pulling
that off?” I start typing again with a smug grin of triumph on my face.
“What’s wrong with me? You’re the one talking to yourself.” *snicker*
This isn’t unusual. This is how I start my day; coffee, breakfast of sorts and friendly, well…usually friendly, chatter amongst my stories. We talk about who is getting work done and where. Some outwardly insist that they don’t need any work, but nod their heads with enthusiasm when the others aren’t looking. One big happy family. Why am I taking the time to tell you about it? Because it is absolutely vital to your writing.
Think about this: What if you never ate dinner with your spouse, never spoke to him while you’re putting away the dishes, never heard him listening to the game in the other room? What if you never went shopping or argued with him over what groceries to buy, which movie to go see, which pair of pants he should wear? These are all insignificant things in the whole of your relationship, but without them, the relationship itself is non-existent. Without your wife’s curling iron and hair stuff taking up space on the bathroom counter, your husband’s boots causing you to trip at the foot of the bed, his jacket thrown haphazardly over the couch, the relationship is nothing more than a giant game of make-believe. It’s nothing more than a child pretending that rocks and sticks are swords and castles.
Writing is no different. Your characters should leave footprints in your life and just like asking your wife to marry you, your boyfriend to move in, your date to stay over, you have to give permission. You have to make space for his toothbrush, his keys, his car and his chipped coffee cup.
I’ve added the extra chairs to my hypothetical table. Have you?