writing

When characters drop out of the sky

skyLast night, I made several new friends. Sure, they may have all been fictional, but together we giggled until we spat and sobbed until we were down to loo paper for tissues.

I have never ceased to find the experience of new characters dropping out of the sky and into stories or poems anything other than gobsmacking. In fact, given that I don’t write for my bread and butter, only my indulgent pleasure, it amazes me even more that these new faces even bother to pop out like corn from the seeming dryness of my imagination.

So last night, as I mentioned, I found some new buddies. And I just need you to meet two of them. One’s a lizard, one’s, a camel. I know. Extraordinary stuff. Falo is a ta ta lizard from north Western Australia and Bo is a camel from the Kimberley. One has a lisp, the other two lanterns. One races around like a mad thing in dehydrated delirium, the other labours like a frog in quicksand.

How they appeared, I’m still uncertain. And, to be honest, they’re still very simply constructed figments of my imagination. What’s intriguing me though is how it happened. Happens.

I believe, for me, in humblest terms, it’s a two pronged irony. One prong’s just waiting patiently. The other is writing vociferously. Maybe like swatting a fly: when you do it, you’ve got to attack with gusto and purpose, with the KNOWING the target is there and something magical (albeit hopefully more than a dead insect) is going to drop out of the ether and onto the keyboard.

That’s how the voice, presence, gait, motivation and characters of both Falo and Bo appeared. And believe me, even though the story is humble, the story a brief ten pages, these two are so lovable I might consider adopting them.

Even though Falo spits.

And Bo is a sad sack.

And Falo is hasty.

And Bo a blubbering mess.

Thus, my script for the school musical Melted is now written. And I am thankful to Bo, Falo, Queenie and Desert Rose for coming to the party. Still really can’t claim to know how they got here, but I’m blessed they made it.

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