I met one of the characters from my novel the other day. I mean literally.
I had imagined a new character for my novel a few months ago, and although I haven’t been writing all that much on the page, I’m been forming her in my mind, which is a type of mental writing I do. I’ve been thinking about what she would look like, how she would be, how she would act, how she would interact with other characters. Also, I’ve been planning how important her role would be in the story (and she keeps getting more important, dare I say pivotal, the more I think about her).
During this mental process she has become a living breathing character in my head. Now it was just time to recreate her by taking her from my mind and using words to give her life on the page. But then she walked into my kitchen! I was meeting this girl for the very first time (just like the characters in my novel, actually) and there was just something about her that I recognized — she embodied all the qualities of the character I had been creating. It was an indescribable feeling to meet a living breathing person than just ‘felt’ like someone I already know, not because of déjà vu or because I had met them in the past (or in a past life), but because I had created them in my mind! Now I sort of know how Emma Thompson’s character, a novelist, felt in the movie Stranger Than Fiction, when her character Harold Crick turned out to be a real person (and could hear her ‘writing’ him inside his own head). 🙂