I wonder if it’s all that common for authors to dream about their characters. I would have to think so. Seeing as we spend so much time with them, almost daily, they would have to slip into our unconscious at some point. I wonder how many authors actually listen to their characters in those dreams. Probably not enough. Usually they tell us things we need to know, like how THEY want the story to end, or where they would like to have the opportunity to do away with their personal antagonist once and for all. Granted, we don’t always have to give-into their wishes—sometimes demands, seeing as we are, in effect, God to them; but on the same note, I think we should listen to them at the very least.
We are the ones who breathe life into, and sometimes snatch it away, from them. We owe them the time and the ear to listen. These characters in the most basic of senses are part of us, the author. Ignoring what they have to say to you not only stifles your creativity and the story line itself, but it’s also you not listening to you.
I remember a year and a half or so back, after the rough draft of EH was completed, I was working on a very difficult scene while on break at my job. I was going back over what is now going to be a later book in the series, to where I kill off a character who was an integral part to the EH plotline. I had every character who had ever met the one who was doomed screaming at me to let them stop it from happening. When my characters cried, I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke down while writing that scene and no one around me understood why. While they all kept asking if I was alright, and why all of the sudden I lost control, part of me laughed inside. It was something that they wouldn’t have ever been able to understand. A connection that none of them had.
It’s very difficult to describe that sort of thing to people. How you’re ecstatic when you finally find a way to help the characters along on their journey, and how you want to curl up and die when you see that the best way to go about a situation is to destroy a person that you’d put so much heart and soul into.
Don’t get me wrong, I love playing God . . . . but there are times when things just can’t end happily ever after.
On that note, I'll probably have a character profile or two up within the next day or so.