Thursday, April 10, 2008

Storyland, pop. ???

When I'm deep into a story - novella or novel - I go to a place in my dreams that I call "Storyland."

It's a town like Monterey, California with homes that crawl up from the bay to the hills. There's no set time period in this town. Sometimes when I visit, I'm in the 1840's when the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, led by John C. Fremont, came into Alta California, liked what they saw and decided to take it from Mexico. Other times when I visit, it is present day.

I meet my characters in coffee shops, their homes or pass them on the street - once I saw Will and Tamara at a farmer's market but I think I was writing "Till Death Do Us Part" at the time. Sometimes they talk directly to me about what needs to happen in the story; other times I have to chase them down just to see what they eat for lunch.

Strange, yes, but when I realize I'm having a dream in Storyland, I feel like I've come home after a long voyage abroad. Even better, I feel like I've tapped into the vein of the story I'm writing. I realize not everyone has a Storyland, but then I was always a strange kid.

But here's what I'm wondering: where do you think your characters come from? When do you know they and your story have come to life?

4 comments:

Icess Fernandez said...

My characters start coming to life when they wake me up in the middle of the night. When I'm thinking about what I want for lunch and they interject to tell me what's going on in their lives. My personal favorite, when I hear a song on the radio and think, "such and such character would love this song".
They tend to take over don't they?

Mary Castillo said...

They do and sometimes it makes you wonder if writer are wired differently!

Mary

Crafty Chica said...

i'm still waiting for my contract to get finished up, in the meantime, my mind is racing with all kinds of things i want to add/take out! the waiting is what kills the most! hope you are having a great spring, mary!

Dana Diamond said...

I think a lot of us are wired differently. And I know you know just what I mean. :)

Mine vistit too or rather, I feel I visit them. Not in one place particular, but in various times and climes. When I wake, I miss them so much, I write the book just so I can go back.

Love, d

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