So, here’s a conversation I had recently with my main character, party planner Liv McKay. (WARNING: Making sausage can be hard to watch. Some of you may enjoy the books more if you’re blissfully unaware of the author’s process).
Me: The writing is going painfully slow. Why are you not talking to me?
Liv: Do you really have to ask?
Liv: You are so inconsiderate of my feelings. Why should I make it easy on you?
Me: How am I inconsiderate? I made you the main character and narrator. Your name is in the series title.
Liv: And you spend all your time making my life difficult. All you care about is having me solve one murder after another.
Me: That’s kind of the main thread of the books.
Liv: I know. But that’s what you want. What about me? Do you ever think about what I want.
Me: Like what?
Liv: Can’t I ever just have a date night with Larry Joe? Why can’t Di and I ever just hang out or do something fun without having to talk about who killed somebody? And why can’t I ever host a party of my own? I’m a party planner for Pete’s sake!
Me: You and Larry Joe have romantic moments. And admit it, you and Di enjoy the thrill of tracking down killers.
Liv: Says you. (She examines her fingernails as if considering a manicure, making it clear she intends to ignore me).
Me: (I persist) And you don’t host parties because your house is in a state of ongoing renovations.
Liv: And who decided the renovations had to be ongoing? I just get tired sometimes of you always running my life.
Me: Oh, that’s rich. You run my life at least as much as I run yours, missy. I lose sleep because of you. I’m stuck at the computer writing lots of times when I’d rather be doing something else. And you always make me work right up until deadline. You could let me finish a manuscript early, just once.
Liv: That’s called creating tension. You have to create a sense of urgency to build up to the climax.
Me: That’s necessary on the page – not in my real life.
Liv: You think the life you have apart from me is real?
Me: Let me think about that one.
Liv: Look, I know you have to throw a certain number of obstacles in my path to keep it interesting. But couldn’t you give me a break now and then? Maybe a change of scenery?
Me: You’re going to go to Vegas in Book 4. That’ll make for a nice change.
Liv: Should you be typing that in public? Book 3 isn’t even out yet.
Me: No, this is just between you and me. I’ll edit that out before I post it on the blog.
Liv: No you won’t. You’re a goof.
Me: Oh, and what about right now. I’m letting you do this guest appearance on Chicks on the Case. Doesn’t that score me any points?
Liv: OK. This has been fun. I’ll help you with the next scene, but don’t take all day. I swear I could write faster with crayons than you type. So please get on with it – I need to go get my nails done.
So do you ever talk to yourself or your characters? Has anyone ever caught you and how did you react? Share in comments.