Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My Characters Hate Going to Bed aka Why Writers Write

by Melodie Campbell

(As usual, this post will sit on the wacky side. But there is a serious message behind it all.  Why?  Why do we spend hours and hours alone in our garrets, piecing together stories that may never earn us a living wage, or even see the light of day?  Are we insane?  Or, as I posit, does writing keep us sane?)

But back to our regularly scheduled blog post:

Rowena is arguing with Thane.  Cedric meets Soren the demon for the first time.   Kendra can’t choose between Richard and Logan…or is it that young cousin of the Viking Warlord, what’s his name?

Gina and Nico are planning an art gallery heist.  Uncle Seb is about to kick the bucket, and he didn’t die ‘cleaning his gun.’  Pete is caught with counterfeit moolah, and slips through the portal to Land’s End…

No, wait a minute.  Wrong book.  Wrong series.  Even wrong genre!  Plots, you’re getting yourselves mixed up.

It’s 3:15 AM, and all is not well in my head.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my characters hate going to bed.

Like little children, they race around in my head, determined to have yet another adventure.  Problem is, they stumble over each other in their bid for freedom.  Series start mixing in decidedly zany ways.

(Okay, back to the point of this blog.)

We authors control what our characters do during the day.  It’s one of the things I love about writing: the ability to control the world in a way we can’t do in real life. 

I can’t control the real world.  Sometimes the script being directed from above is pretty painful.  In my case, it contains an autistic brother and life-long care-giver burdens I can do nothing about.

But I can control the world I create in words.

In my fiction, I control my characters, put them where I want them, alter their lives, change the time, the year, the setting, give them astonishing adventures and  dramatic endings– it’s glorious, unfettered control.

But at night, even they go wild. 

In the wee hours of the morning, my head is a playground for creative creatures, both human and fantastical.  They have adventures even I haven’t thought of yet. 

So here’s a job for you scientists out there.  Figure out a way to capture the nocturnal plotlines that create havoc for us authors as we struggle to give our brains some needed snooze-time.

And in the meantime, can you guys please keep it down in there?  I’m trying to sleep.


  1. I used to suffer the same problem Melodie. Riotous characters. I gave up writing and just do my blog now and you know what?... I ended up just giving up on sleep too.My brain might not make much sense but it refuses to lie down and rest. I wonder if there's a boo in there trying to create a proper playtime like yours.
    xxx Hugs xxx

  2. Laff! David, the voices in our heads are just determined to party-on. Sort of like teenagers having a party in the house when the parents are away! Ooh, I love that visual. Does make you wonder if the house will be wrecked in the morning :)