Friday, April 16
So I’m typing away at my new story, minding my own business, when in comes Big Sheila. She’s 6’4”, three-hundred pounds, diamond in her nose and close cropped black hair. She has attitude. Umm, major attitude. But she didn’t come in via the front door or even the back door. And definitely not through the cat flap.
Although….I might reconsider the cat flap.
Big Sheila popped up while I was typing away at my new ms. In scene two, chapter one. I was minding my own business, following my outline (I was so proud of myself to have done an OUTLINE) when Sheila popped in to say “hi.”
And refused to leave.
As a matter of fact, by the way she’s leaning against the wall, enormous arms crossed and tapping her size 13 shoe (orthopedic), I’d have to guess Big Sheila’s here for the duration of the book.
This happened in my last ms, when Antonio wandered in. A Latin lover, silky voiced, beautiful deep brown eyes. Outspoken, opinionated, over-eager. And my hero’s butler. Did he stay in the background like a good butler and merely announce “Supper is served”? Not Antonio. Nope, Antonio hit on the heroine, eavesdropped on his boss and generally disobeyed every rule of butler-dom.
I loved Antonio.
In my very first ms, Gavin popped in. Popped in the way a volcano pops its cork. BANG! My heroine’s business partner, he dresses in lavish suits, looks like Vince Vaughn and dances like a wounded albatross. He’s witty, he’s smooooooooooth and he’s about as subtle as Joan Rivers’ facelift.
What I’d like to know, is what part of my brain is hiding these secondary characters? Medula Oblongata? Cerebellum? Curtain Number Two? It’s clear they’ve been lurking around in there, waiting to come out, because I know absolutely everything about them.
I know Antonio has small feet. I know Big Sheila lost her hair in chemotherapy and has kept it short since then. I know Gavin loves jazz music.
But what’s absolutely the most frustrating part of all?
I know them BETTER than my hero and heroine.
My H/H that I’ve spent hours interviewing, outlining, learning their likes and dislikes and favorite colors.
My H/H that are SUPPOSED to be the stars of my book, but instead, stand by, pale and wan as Antonio, Gavin and Big Sheila take over.
So, I thought, rubbing my hands in glee…I’ll just turn Gavin into my hero! Brilliance personified.
Except he refused. Flat out refused. Turned his back on me and walked away.
Antonio leapt at the chance, but then refused to speak.
Big Sheila grumbled she was too busy with work for such nonsense.
Sigh. What’s a gal to do with such unruly secondary characters?
Just keep writing them in. And trim them down a little in rewrites.
Umm..don’t tell Big Sheila I said that. She gets a little mouthy if she thinks she’s not getting her fair share of screen time.