If there’s one character that probably hates me (well she hates her in-story mother, so it’ll be no surprise if she hates me too) is Meggie Greene, because of the amount of rubbish I put her through. After all, she lives and works in a role-play, which are always the hardest to accommodate for; one has to be ‘on-the-mark’ and, often, authors compete to put their characters in the position of ‘main’ character, which is rather piling on the pressure.
As I have mentioned to a couple of other authors, my characters could break away from the collab and have their own solo, but (also having a solo ‘sequel’ in their names, set in their future) I don’t have the time and effort. So Meggie stays.
Now, I shall not advertise ‘The Protagonize Bus (The Continuation)’, but get on with the little conversation I happened to have one day with dear Meggie.
I was busy in the midst of collecting my characters, Aidelle, Phillip and their (so far unnamed) time-travelling granddaughter, in my mind and directing them to act out little scenes that I was about to write for my story, ‘Time. Stopped.’, for National Novel Writing Month, when Meggie stepped in massively. A sixteen-year-old with an attitude that came from having to cope with a strange, new outside world over the last couple of months, Meggie was slightly overweight, with golden shoulder-length curls and grey-blue eyes. And she was wearing her infamous green silk dress. The one that (for the sake of plot-lines) had to be covered by litres of her own blood. It was such a beautiful dress that I saw her in it every time she popped into my mind.
“Hey, mother, may I have a break now?” She interrupted into my train of writing, “I’m sick of constantly being on my toes, because I have to deal with my personal demons (literally) and being on the run from the press, and being in a foreign land, and heartbreaking love…”
“Meggan,” I gave her a ‘please-don’t-bother-me-when-I-have-very-important-things-to-do’ look, “You’re from me, from my first collaborative story, and I’m not about to give you up as quickly as that.”
“Meggie, Meggie, Meggie… You will learn that, in this world-”
“You’re sounding patronizingly like Aidan or Mrs. Raisin.”
“Of course I am! You’re all from my mind, and there’s a bit of me in all of you- except the men, who are from your father.”
Meggie gave me a sceptical look. No doubt, our minds were thinking along the same train about who was the ‘father’ (and base) of many of my male characters.
“I’m not gonna ask whether that makes Aidan my brother. That would just be vulgar incest.”
“You only know about incest because of me. You probably only chose Aidan as your partner because you have part of my DNA. And that was before I read ‘Bouquet of Barbed Wire’!”
“Freaky book. And you just keep bringing it back up.”
“A freaky book? You’re the one who wants to sleep with your former teacher!”
“Mumm!” Meggie moaned, slightly embarrassed, “Need I remind you where those certain thoughts come from…?”
“Grr, shh!” I growled at her and drew a black curtain down, blocking her from my mind. I wouldn’t let her spread lies around to the rest of my characters.
Unfortunately, the curtain would not hold long and Meggie poked her head out from behind it.
“I hope you enjoy doing Psychology for Sixth Form,” she grumbled, “There’s a lot of weird stuff going round in your head.”
“Indeed,” I responded, “As you once learnt that there were many weird things in life, you will learn that there is still more to learn as you grow even further up.”
“Oh, right. You know my future, of course you do. So…mind telling me what’s going to happen so that I stop worrying?”
“No, spoilers are kept under lock and key in my mind. You won’t go there, otherwise you will be in the gravest danger.”
“Great. So, instead of getting my way, I get a life-lesson. Sometimes I hate you with an uncharacteristic passion.”
“I know. Go cuddle Aidan; he should warm your crying heart back up to its perky usual self… (Or is that just me?)”
“I can’t be bothered. Knowing Aidan, he’ll be trying to teach Francesca every bit of Ethics.”
“Don’t bring Fran into this, okay. As my ‘child’, you should respect the physical boundaries between my life and yours.”
“You said yourself-”
“End of topic. Please, Meggie, let’s leave both Aidan and your father out of this.”
“Yes, ‘so’ what?”
“Can I have a break?”
“Fine. Take a month off whilst I do NaNo!”
She flounced off, happily, her hair bobbing as she walked with a springing step, just like I did.
Sometimes my characters can be too much like me. And sometimes I need a bit of love. Sometimes, I’m too nice to my characters.