Monday, November 9, 2009

Imaginary Friends

Hey guys -

I’m back to query letter and synopsis fun. Yuck. Summarizing shouldn't be this difficult. The upside is I’ve already done the bulk of the work for the old version.

Another positive note, I wrote part of Summer’s End yesterday. Pretty exciting stuff. There’s something comforting about reuniting with characters. I know their motivations, speech patterns, mannerisms, etc. It’s like getting together with old buddies – which brings me to my question:

EL Doctorow says, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia,” but is it really?

My characters live in real life. Before you get all “she’s nuts” on me, here me out. When I’m involved with a project, sponge-mode takes over. I begin to analyze everything for possible use.

For example,

What would Autumn do if confronted with this mean tech at CVS Pharmacy who seriously cannot give me a straight answer on copays?

Or what would Nathan do if stuck behind this friggin’ idiot who keeps stopping for no reason?

Or would Jonah want Jack in a Crack or Tacos Smell?

It’s a litmus test for how well I know my imaginary friends. Do you do that?

Writers have different methods, so it would be interesting to hear yours. Do your characters take a backseat to everyday living? Are you able to hit mute on the “voices in your head”?


PS - I also sent the new (and oh-so improved) version of my book to an agent. Cross your fingers for me.


  1. Good luck, Hilary!

    My current set of characters don't live in the real world, so I haven't imagined what they would do here very much. Instead, scenes from their own life go through my head, whether or not they make it into the novel.

  2. Thanks, Adam!

    It's so true - characters consume reality sometimes.

  3. Oh I'm crossing fingers and toes and sending up some serious prayers! How exciting!

  4. My real life comes first -- most of the time. When my house sleeps, they take a backseat to the voices in my head.

  5. T.Anne -
    Thanks for all the extremity crossing and prayers. We'll see if I make it past the slush. ;)

    Elana -
    Good that you have a strong filter. I'm still working on mine.