Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do writers have Green Rooms?

Every writer has characters that they’ve created, stories that they’ve begun but never got around to finishing (I actually have a folder on my computer titled ‘unfinished’ and two partially completed NaNo manuscripts) We’ve also got some characters who we’ve seen brief flashes of and we’ve noted them down to return to at a later date.

Where do these characters go when we’ve given them the creative equivalent of being put into moth balls? What do they do out there in the creative ether, in a holding pattern, waiting for the control tower to bring them down.

Originally I conceptualised this creative purgatory to be a bank vault-ish – sort of a safety deposit process for storing characters away … protected from being pawned and reclaimed by another writer. This seemed like a pretty grim place to send the wild bunch that I’ve cavorted with in the past.

I realised that my characters-in-waiting have their very own Green Room. To pass the time they’re sharing beers, coffee, M&Ms and conversations (maybe even some bodily fluids).

So who’s currently in the Green Room?

Side by side on a couch are Adam and Eve (of the Adam and Eve concept), stuck in a perpetually awkward moment. For Eve it feels like de ja vu she hasn’t recovered her memories yet, but feels a strong connection to Adam and a need to drag him into a dark space. And there’s Adam, who has recovered the love of his life, but can’t tell her who he is, because they’ve been warned to allow her memories to resurface at their own pace. They’re probably talking about safe topics like the weather and giving themselves a chance to relax from relentless Government pursuit. Eve’s wishing someone would put on some decent music.

Sitting in single arm chairs that have been turned to face each other are Alex and Abby (from Finding Aphrodite). Since they weaselled their way into a sex scene (compliments of a 3am Epiphany exercise about this time last year) they’ve been pretty quiet – and sated I guess, having finally stripped off and got it on. Abby has her shoes off and Alex is rubbing her feet. This is causing a bit of a stir because technically their relationship hasn’t been outsed – and well he’s a political satirist and she’s one of the newest members of parliament. It’s also a little uncomfortable for Abby’s husband Calum who was last seen heading for the toilet with The Australian under one arm and a grim look on his face. He was gone before Vi could catch up with him.

Stalking about in the shadows waiting for his next hit is Jeff, the junky freelance journalist from Finding Aphrodite. He’s being watched with a mixture of repulsion and envy by Huxley, (also from Finding Aphrodite) who has cleaned up his cocaine habit, turned Christian but is slowly going crazy seeing Abby with Alex. He’s searching for a foam football to toss around to relieve the boredrom.

The Voodoo Cowboy is talking to my unnamed female character (a 3am Epiphany creation) about love, regret, guilt and salt rings. He’s missing Patience his horse, who for work place health and safety reason had to be left tied up in the parking lot.

Aurelia and Caleb from Second Chance are waiting for destiny to come and visit, and biding their time as best they can. They’re enjoying an espresso together and trying to avoid talking business – even though they both have in common that they work for the mob. After all he is an assassin and he’s been contracted to kill her, it's best to keep things simple. Aurelia is hoping it doesn’t start raining.

There's been a stir lately in The Green Room created by the most recent arrivals – the crew and cast of Captain Juan who have been forced into a Green Room hiatus over the Christmas break, waiting for their serial to resume. There’s a collective swoon from all the women in the room and there’s a tussle between Juan and Intaglio over who can pull the most virtual chicks. Intaglio was seen carving notches into the door frame, though Juan maintains he's got the longer sword.

Domenica is at the toilet door, waiting to preen herself and in doing so met Vi and the two of them have settled down at the toilet door to scheme and bitch. Ruby and Father Paolo have been drawn to the Voodoo Cowboy and the unnamed character for a philosophical and theological discussion – the cowboy and Ruby finding a common ground in voodoo and paganism and Father Paolo is trying to console the Catholic guilt and angst in the unnamed character. Dante’s lurking in the corner and finds himself side by side with Jeff, both of them thinking of torture and unnatural deeds.

Pablo’s washing up all the dirty coffee cups and collecting up empty beer bottles, while Pete follows him around giving him grief about being uptight. Bruno and the boys have just discovered disco since Eve finally worked out how to tweak the music system and someone just broke the coffee table and sent the M&Ms spilling across the floor.

Calvin’s been spotted sneaking beers from the fridge and is now bemoaning his boyish frustrations to Adam, who has frustrations of his own. Then someone calls out ‘fire in the hole’ …

This article was inspired by Paul Anderson's short story Literati & Sons, Metaphysical Pawnbrokers.

Image: Broken Glass by Abandoned Alaska via Flickr


Paul said...

And disaster ensues on a scale not seen since A Coruna....

Love it!

Annie said...

brought a smile on my dial - love it... and leave Garcia alone - he is gifted .....