During the planning stages and the writing stages of NaNoWriMo (which, apparently, I haven’t forgotten about), there was one particular thread on the forums I found myself visiting quite often, because it was both useful and therapeutic. It sounds insane, but it was the one where writers wrote letters to their characters. Mind you, writers are, in a way, a bit crazy in the head, but this is especially nutty. I mean, really. It’s not like they can write back… or can they? For example…
I had just gotten through some “interviews” with my characters, which included some secondary characters and some main ones. Jethro’s answers were the most… interesting. So I wrote him a note:
You are not Chuck Norris. Stop answering me with smart-aleck remarks that imply that you think otherwise. Also, if you took a bit less joy in meting out justice, I’d appreciate it. You’re creeping me out with your blood n’ guts attitude. I realize that you are the commander of a top secret network of the king’s elite spies, and you’ll do anything in your power to protect the king, but that doesn’t give you the excuse to relish the power to take lives. Seriously. Behave yourself. And the next time I ask you what your favorite meal is, don’t tell me that you eat assassins for dinner, with turnips on the side.
Aedan, on the other hand, was the main character. He has always struck me as being very… well.. full of humor. You don’t really see that much of it in his childhood, but… I really had a hard time trying to figure him out more fully before I started writing:
If you were real, I’d ask you on a date. Really. You’re just that awesome. The eyepatch enhances your dashing looks. I would never be bored with you in my life. I’m sorry that I keep on putting you into jobs that aren’t as exciting as you’d like, but you’re so loyal and trustworthy, and the king insists that I keep you alive. At the same time, I can understand why you get carried away in battle- the childhood loss of your parents and your eye was not an easy thing to live through. However, as well as I know you, I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Yes, you are amazing at your job, and I can picture you very well (at least your face, anyway). Yes, you do enjoy sweet-talking the ladies. Yes, you are somewhat rough around the edges, and you are full of witty remarks (most of which are things I’d say myself –– for which I apologize). These are things that endear you to me. However, I need to know more. Honestly, you’ve got to have a life outside of work. Also, can you help me figure out your sleeping patterns? It almost seems like you never sleep, which I know can’t be true. Please tell me, and tell me soon.
Just getting to know you,
Feann is… well… I’d say that I favor him, but that seems to take on an odd meaning. It seems like I beat him up more than other people:
Aedan will be the main character. Don’t try to change that. I’ll be very upset with you if you do, as much as I like you. Yes, you will have your part. Yes, it will be awesome. But control yourself. Don’t get killed, and don’t take over the story. Really. I mean that. Also, do try not to get knocked off your horse too often.
Just for the last line…
I can’t wait to write your story. I’m deeply sorry for some of the things you will have to go through. Really, I am. Still, what happens now will shape you for the future, so you’ll have to put on your big kid panties and act like a man. You will excel. I know you will. You are just that awesome, my knight in slightly dented armor.
Sometimes my notes had more to do with writing than with my characters:
Thank you so much for being so inquisitive. You’ve saved my wordcount…
I totally got personal with this one:
I know they put you in the kitchen to wash dishes. I know you hate it with a passion. I hate washing dishes, too. Please find some witty way of getting the task done without getting in trouble, if only just to amuse me and keep me from skipping this part of the story…
I really have a hard time writing children:
Why are you talking as if you’re an adult? You’re an eleven year old! Stop playing philosopher and act like it!
This says it all. I have since decided to let Jethro do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Otherwise, he might chase after me. Honestly, he has a mind of his own:
You are shaping up to being awesome. Forget what I said about Chuck Norris. You are THE MAN! Now go and kill off some treacherous folks…
I salute you!
A little threat to remind a minor character of his… dispensability:
Don’t forget that you’re one of the “disposable” characters. Do one more bad thing, I dare you. In fact, PLEASE do something awful. I haven’t killed any characters for thousands of words, and you are definitely on the list.
Sincerely, but not lovingly,
P.S.- I am fully aware that I sounded creepy when I wrote that. It was unintentional.
Before I gave in to Jethro’s way of doing things, I did threaten him a bit (though I couldn’t possibly kill him off –– it’d be like breaking a Tiffany window):
Don’t go too far. I’m warning you. I will slap you. Don’t think I won’t.
Mind you, I do plan on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this April, so… I will most certainly be writing more letters in the near future…