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Elizabeth Lang

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Character Follies
by Elizabeth Lang   

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Publisher:  Active Living Type: 


Copyright:  October 28, 2011

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A writer's characters come alive and demand their own lives...

What happens when a writer's characters come alive and insist on having a life of their own outside the story? What if they think they have better ideas for the story than she does? Fireworks and comedy ensues.

Adrian prefers doing anything else, other than cooperating. Argus likes hitting things. Repeatedly. Sester...well whatever he does, the other two are sure he's up to no good.

The writer tries to wrangle them into some semblance of order, but it's like herding flies. Come and join the merriment and find out how a writer's mind really works.

Chapter 2 - Dialogue Woes

The Writer is revising, again, trying to wrangle her characters into some semblance of order. She is trying to convince her main, and most beloved character into more dialogue interactions, but this is much easier said than done and after days of tearing her hair out, she sits him down to find out what the problem is.

Writer: Why can't you say more?
Adrian: For what purpose?
Writer: So people will get to know you better. You know, character development.
Adrian (stares and she can hear the wheels turning): Then give me something to do.

Writer: So, if I give you something to do, you'll do more talking?
Adrian: If it's called for.
Writer: Which means, no.
Adrian: Why do you have this obsession with dialogue?
Writer: Why do you have an obsession with not speaking?
Adrian: You're the one who created my character.
Writer: So, it's my fault?
Adrian: (Stares. This is not a good thing.)
Writer: That means, yes.
Adrian: I said nothing of the kind.
Writer: Your lack of response was deafening.
Adrian: That's meant to be sarcasm.
Writer: You should know. I created you.
Adrian: And that's irony.
Writer: It certainly isn't comedy. Oh, wait, it is…
Sester (Enters, after eavesdropping at the door of course.): What are we talking about?
Adrian (laser glare): Did you have to bring him into this story?
Sester (smiles amiably): I make things more interesting.
Adrian: In the same way an abscessed tooth is interesting.
Argus (comes in carrying huge, heavy metal crate) Hello.
Adrian (stares some more)
Sester: Why aren't you complaining about him?
Adrian: He's somewhat useful.
Argus: Well, thanks. Where did you want this box?
Adrian: On his head would be an option.
Argus: Er…I'll just put it down here. (box thumps on the table)
Writer: What was I talking about before?
Adrian: You were about to give me something to do.
Writer: I don't remember that.
Adrian: Well, until you do, I will be working on my new project.
Writer: What new project? I didn't write you any new projects.
Adrian: You have been lax of late.
Writer: I should get writing then.
Adrian: What an excellent idea.

Professional Reviews

A fun romp through a literary world
The best-written characters take on a life of their own, it is said, and Elizabeth Lang's are prime examples. Follow the denizens of the Empire as they read over the author's shoulders and request changes in the text; laugh along as the author tries to lead, convince and cajole them into doing what she wants for them to do. Experience work life from Adrian Stannis' point of view in his personal log. (I can hear Adrian objecting to the fact that she has actually published it as he tends to keep his own council and not share his thoughts with others, but I digress.) See how the characters act in a series of off-the-wall situations.

This is a fun little read that I'm sure fans of the Empire series will appreciate.

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