Wednesday, September 4

Hello from The Waiting Room

Before we even get started, no, I'm not writing this blog from a hospital. Or doctor's office. Or car dealership. I have this thing I call The Waiting Room. Characters, some anonymous, some I know already...some with only really amazing eyes or a killer chest (yes, my Waiting Room can sometimes look like the Makeup trailer for a war movie), introduce themselves to me and poof! off on a story tangent. But I call it The Waiting Room because I make them wait there until I'm ready. The rule for The Waiting Room is that people can go in, but they can't come out until they're fully formed - they should have at least 1 name (first or last, doesn't matter), they need to have a full face (not just eyes or lips or - once- just a nose) and they need to be ready to tell a little of their story.

When I'm in the middle of one story, I try to forget about The Waiting Room, but the new additions waiting inside never forget about me. They pop up in dreams, interrupt me when I'm working on another character's story and sometimes distract me while I'm cooking dinner. My general rule, and this is written down in the Handbook I leave on the coffee table in The Waiting Room, is that once I'm finished with a manuscript, the most fully developed character in the room can come forward.

No cutsies, back or front. No skipping over another character. No bribery accepted.

How about your characters? Where do they come from?


  1. So true, Kristina. Great post.
    -R.T. Wolfe

  2. LOL. I love this. I have a room like that, too--thought it's very cluttered!

  3. I love this. I have a similar thing for story ideas. I call it my "what if" list. Can't wait to see what pops out next from your waiting room.

  4. thanks for visiting, Liz!

    I've got someone just about ready to come onto the page, Carolyn...can't wait to start on his book!

  5. So, did someone make it out today?

  6. I guess I do have a waiting room. But it's in a file on my computer for partially written stories. One of my male characters didn't tell me his name until chapter three. Until then, I was calling him Jim. Bad call. He turned out to be Greek!

  7. lol, Margie! Not quite ... need to put a little polish on an old character first.

    Shawn, it's funny what we *think* we know about characters...but don't.