Today I finished my novel. My characters, ghostly and cliched when I began, have developed personalities, struggled for dominance, behaved outrageously and, occasionally, obediently, lost weight, gained weight, aged, grew wise but seldom sensible, fell in an out of love, schemed, deceived and, in general, led me on a merry dance down cul-de-sacs and wide boulevards where they had no right to loiter. I bade them goodbye with a certain regret, rather like the mood that takes us when we wave beloved visitors from our doorsteps, sorry to see them go but looking forward to relaxing back into our own company.
As they slouch out of sight, I find myself suffering withdrawal symptoms. It’s a restlessness that will take days to overcome as I clear my desk, wipe my brow and pop the cork on the champagne. For over a year they claimed my heart, soul and mind with their conniving. Now they are boxed in place, ready to be dissected, hopefully, by an eagle-eyed editor who will discover hidden traits that have escaped me. When the painful process of editing begins I will view them with fresh eyes as we are again reunited in those final stages of publication.
It’s possible I’ll dream about them tonight. I often do. Strange, to create characters who didn’t exist until they invaded my mind then had the audacity to enter the realm of my dreams. Goodbye characters. It was nice knowing you. Now, will someone please pour me another glass of champagne. Hic!