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I See Imaginary People

imaginary-peoplePeople often ask me, why did you become a writer?  The answer to that question varies from writer to writer. But let’s face it, we all have to be a wee bit of a masochist to take on a profession that is so overrated and underrated at the same time.

Readers who are not writers love to read a great story, but do they really know the work involved? Some do, but some think we sit down and words just flow out of us like cool, clean water from a fountain. I’ll admit, there are days like that and we rejoice in them, singing our praises and kowtowing to our characters for their wondrous cooperation. Those are the days we happily dance around the house or apartment, have that celebratory glass of wine, maybe even give the kitty an extra treat. I recall days when my pen couldn’t move fast enough to get the words on paper, when my fingers fell over each other typing in dialog. I immersed myself in character like an actor in the zone. I suffered with them, rejoiced with them, cried with them, laughed with them. I felt their sorrow and joy and angst. And in the end, I felt my own elation in knowing that to empathize with my characters meant I did my job well.

But there are also days when the words won’t come, that no matter what I do, my brain stagnates and I feel the sweat of exasperation on my brow. My characters are in hiding. I wonder what they do when they hide from me. Do they tire of my incessant asking, “Okay, what happens next?” Are they sitting at computers listening to voices of their own?  Are they angry that I keep such a watchful eye on them, that I peer in their window like a voyeur, dig into their deepest emotions and lay them out for all the world to see? I think sometimes my characters just need a rest, a little time off to live their literary lives without someone constantly watching. Sometimes I sit at the computer and say, “Where are you?” and get no reply, and I wonder if they’ve left me for good. Or maybe they’re just on vacation. Everyone needs a vacation now and again.

So, why did I become a writer? The answer is simple. Because I see imaginary people. It’s not about making money, it’s not about seeking fame. It is for reason that the imaginary people won’t go away. They’re like ever present ghosts in a haunted house. They live with you every day, side by side, invisible but always present. Sometimes they talk to you, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they push at you, hound you, and drag you to the computer to tell their story or go mad from the voices in your head. Sometimes they’re silent as the grave, listening but not yet communicating. It’s at these times you have to say, “Fine, don’t talk to me. I don’t care.” And have that bowl of rocky road ice cream, have some peanut butter cups, watch a sappy love story, or a grand adventure. Pet the pooch and pat the kitty. Take a nice long walk and really appreciate what surrounds you: birds, trees, flowers, animals, sunshine, clouds, the unexpected kiss of a warm autumn breeze. Visit some friends and talk about old times, or times to come. Soon the words will once again flow, and they’ll come full force, a tornado of narrative, dialog, description, and maybe even a dangling participle or two. Because in truth, there is one thing imaginary people hate more than being spied on, and that is being ignored.

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About Linda Ciletti

Linda Ciletti grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she discovered her love for classic fairytales during her many childhood visits to the Hazelwood public library. She now resides in a quaint bungalow in the beautiful Western Pennsylvanian suburbs. She is a member of the Greensburg Writers Group, Ligonier Valley Writers, and a former member of Romance Writers of America. Linda exhibits her love of fairytales, romance, and happily ever afters in the genres of medieval historical, time travel paranormal, contemporary, and fantasy. Her novel, Draegon’s Lair, won the Epic Award for best historical romance. When not serving the writing muse, she immerses herself in illustration and graphics, doing photography, virtual world content creation, and book cover design.

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2016 by in Characters and tagged , .
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