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When your head isn’t quite your own


My fingers are itching to get stuck into something new. Well, not new, per say, but different.

I‘m in the somewhat enviable position of already knowing what my second novel will be about. I know the characters, their back-stories and, er, future-stories (Is that a thing? I have either coined a new term or exposed my gross ignorance.)

For the past two years this story has been invading my dreams, sometimes my hallucinations. The characters regularly interrupt my train of thought, always asking: “when are you going to write about me?” One character in particular is driving me mad. So much so that, this week, I finally sat down and thought “Right, fine, I’ll write your damn story.”

Ah, if only it were that easy.

As it is, I still have the characters from my first novel firmly imbedded in my head. I can’t quite switch them off. As soon as a new character pipes up to say, “Oi, you, woman with the gaffer-taped laptop!” an old character rears his fat, white haired head and yells “What about me! You can’t let me go till I’m published!”

I am well aware that anyone reading this who is not a writer, or is not at least familiar with the writing process, will probably think me stark raving. Perhaps I am. But the problem still remains; how can you write emphatically, absorbedly about one set of characters when another set entirely are demanding your full attention?

I have a somewhat unusual plan. I don’t know if it’s unorthodox as such, as I haven’t discussed it with anyone other than my husband and he thinks I’m half way gone already. My plan is this: to write a couple of short stories about inanimate objects, piling as much back (and future) story into their creation as I would a human being, to give them purpose, drive, character whilst keeping their inherent non-humanity.

So far it has worked, it’s cleared my head quite effectively. So much so that I may even post one of the stories on this very blog .

 Or maybe, as with so much of my other work, I will hide it away, dismiss it is an act of foolish hubris and blush whenever I think of it.

1 thought on “When your head isn’t quite your own”

  1. Ooh, my sister (who’s a poet) has done this, i.e. written poems using inanimate objects as characters – or at least inspiration for characters. The effect is really interesting and I think it’s a brilliant writing exercise. So, as our American friends would say, that doesn’t sound batshit crazy at all! 🙂


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