[This is a throwaway piece I did for the Well's writer's conference. One of the participants was blocked on a characterization issue, and stated that they'd "lost contact" with the characters. -Z]
Topic 1273 [writers]: HELP! I quit my job to become a writer. What's Next? #553 of 554: Stephan Zielinski (szielins) Mon Feb 24 '97 (21:12) 47 lines
> How did you lose contact with your characters?
Well, what usually happens to me is they move and don't leave a forwarding address.
Then, when I catch up to them again, they give me this *look*. "Since the last time we worked together," one said to me just the other day, "I've met a wonderful woman, I've got a good job, I've got respect in my community. When I was working with you, I spent all day poring over ancient texts in languages I barely knew, and spent all night running away from zombies. And when it was all done, I had nothing to show for it but a half-dozen concealed weapons violations to answer for in the Hall of Justice, and the bill from a therapist who thought I'd hallucinated the whole thing and should probably be institutionalized."
"It won't be zombies this time," I said.
"Oh, of course not. I know all about zombies now. It'll be something else, probably that I've never heard of. And I'll either lose my girlfriend, when I start muttering under my breath, or worse she'll believe me and spend two months as a target."
"Look, all this is negotiable. Let me introduce you to... hrm... an ex-KGB emigre? A gun runner, so you'll never have to worry about running out of bullets again. You'll like her, she's a stunning blonde, eyes as blue as the sea, endearing mole on the back of her hand..."
"Come off it. Once we defeat the weresnails or whatever it is you've got waiting in the wings, we're supposed to settle down? I'm an archaeologist, for crying out loud. She's supposed to give up her gun-running ring and watch me dust off potshards for the rest of her life?"
"Well, you could show her the error of her ways."
"Terrific. And what are we going to talk about over the Sunday paper? `My goodness, honey, it sure is terrific being able to spend time with you without having to make sure I've got a silver dagger where I can reach it.'"
"What could I say to convince you?"
"`I'm writing erotica now.'"