I love being insane–I mean, schizophrenic–I mean, a writer.
I spent some time (9 hours or so) on a jet yesterday, with not a lot to do and a powerful need to correct a bad attitude. So I took out a list of questions I’d stolen from Writer’s Digest or some similar source, opened up a new document, and in between actual work, I conducted interviews.
First up, Zack Jackson, the no-nonsense drifter / prophet in the Old West, whose dice tell him, every morning, a little hint about what his day may hold in store.
He’s fairly polite but not afraid to speak his mind. There are some questions he doesn’t think I have a right or need to know–and certainly not any of the sort of people that would read my writing.
And there’s some stuff that he doesn’t quite know himself–why the dice give him so little to go on, whether what he sees is fate or a possible outcome he can change, and why God allows such bad things to fall upon innocent folk. (He admits the Parson in town would say, “Well, mayhaps that’s why He sent you.”)
I spent a good long time with Zack. Wrote down almost 3,000 words of interview before it was time to move on. Then I changed fantasy worlds, jumped ahead 150 years, and switched to Cass Stone.
Cass is the “hero” of my upcoming NaNoWriMo project, a book I’m planning and plotting out in a partnership with a good friend from the States. In this alternate world, magic is a real thing and has been throughout history. Those with power ruled for millennia, until the Industrial Revolution (an actual, bloody revolution across multiple modern societies). After that, mages became outcasts, beaten down or kept from rights and freedoms enjoyed by “norms.” In America, freedom was protected for everyone on paper, but not so much in reality.
Then Hitler rose to power with a technologically superior army fueled by energies consumed from mages used and burned out like human batteries.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, America creates a Magic Enforcement Agency, dedicated to ensuring no similar mixture of technology and arcana can ever threaten the world.
Though none of them would admit it, Cass Stone is their best Enforcer–a self-proclaimed cold-hearted bad guy paid to take out even worse people. And he’s on the trail of a game-changing weapon that could spell doom for the free world if it falls into the wrong hands.
In the last hour of the flight or so, Cass strolled into the interview and took a seat, challenging the interviewer (me) and questioning the whole purpose of the dialogue.
You can’t get this from some other hobby. I just spent four hours talking to non-existent people. I have six pages of Q&A to show for it. And paradoxically, the more I talk to those imaginary friends, the more clear they become in my mind, so that in theory, the more real the become on the page or screen for a future reader.
They say writers are sometimes a anti-social. I beg to differ.
I go out of my way to talk to people no one else possibly could.