The Problem with People

I’m not a people-person, not especially. I find them tiring in large doses, unless they don’t mind me being quiet, particularly if I don’t know them all that well. I have the same problem with large-cast novels. You know, the sort with several pages of Dramatis Personae at the beginning. Generally speaking, not my cup of tea at all. Too exhausting keeping up with them all.

But what I particularly dislike about People – by which I now mean Characters with Minds of Their Own – is their annoying habit of inserting themselves into stories without warning.

I’m currently near the end of the second full draft of a novel I’ve been writing for about three years (if you include previous incarnations, about a decade). I suddenly have more characters than the original plan has names for, and characters which previously were little more than shadows in the background are now a bit more substantial.

All right, it’s probably more than a little bit my fault for not planning this story properly – I started with the ending and have been working back from there – but even so. I have one draft without these various people: why are they only now making their presence known?

And now, of course, with the added cast, the ending is causing me trouble, now that it’s needing a rewrite and overhaul. Such a pain, when I’m within spitting distance of this finishing line. Sigh.

Oh well, to the Good Chocolate and Emergency Tea!

On the other hand, when it comes to People: Yay for Helen Archer (I shan’t demean her by using that horrid man’s name for her: she’s an Archer – even if Mother Pat has been really quite blind about her recently!)!


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