Sometimes, you forget that not everyone around you is a writer, and that you might look more than a little odd when you’re in the zone.
Lari Don puts it very well in her recent blog post about the creative process:
What writers do is very strange. Perhaps we don’t admit that often enough. Writing fiction, for whatever age, is essentially quite odd. We invent worlds, and live inside them. We do it convincingly enough to invite others to join us in those worlds. We invent people. We have close and emotional relationships with entirely imaginary people. We give our characters lives, make those lives dramatic and exciting and painful, then sometimes we take those lives away.
The other day, I was having coffee with my writerly friend Liz in a local supermarket, and we were chewing the fat about our respective novels. Specifically, we were annoyed at how hard characters were to deal with: she had one that would clam up whenever she tried to interview them, and my protagonist is currently plodding grumpily through some questions for Inspired Quill‘s writing workshop on characters. So it was that this conversation happened…
Liz: Teenagers are so complicated.
Me: The trouble with teenagers is, when they meet girls they get FEELS.
Guy clearing tables: Yeah 😦 *wanders off sadly*
Me: I MEANT FICTIONAL ONES
We may have also talked about smug post-coital selkies and how hooves really don’t fit into goth boots well. This would explain why the nearby woman and her son moved to another table. It’s a bit hard to explain that you actually don’t live with a moody teenager, an oversexed man-seal and an occasionally murderous water horse. But you sort of do, in a way. It’s often frustrating, but it’s never boring.