I am in the middle of a story-line I’m trying to move along after finally getting my cast of characters to settle down. My protagonist, who has been sitting in contemplative silence on the fore-deck of a sailing vessel, suddenly turns to look up at me from the page and gives me that ‘critical’ stare I’ve come to know from her.
"You’re not doing it right."
"I’m not doing what right?
"The way you describe your scenes."
"In what way?"
"You’re always describing things as I see them, never before I get somewhere."
I start to answer but she’s got a full head of steam going and she lunges on.
"Why do I always have to have my head full of imagery when I’m busy trying to focus on important stuff?"
I relax because I now know where this is coming from.
"You’ve been reading Author Blog’s again, haven’t you."
It’s an accusation, not a question. I’ve caught her at this before.
She nods and stands, taking care to hang onto the rigging as the vessel rises to meet a glancing wave, then returns her attention to me.
"Why shouldn’t I? What’s so terrible about it?"
"Nothing really, but whose character are you? Are you mine or one of theirs?"
Now, I know it’s partly my fault because I left their blog pages open in my browser tabs. Still…
"Should I ask them if you can go live in one of their stories?"
I was so busy paying attention to her that I forgot to see what was going on around her, and now she’s soaked to the skin. That glancing wave had curled over the hull and, like a slap shot, nailed her from behind.
She’s angry now. "You did that on purpose."
I want to laugh, but I don’t.
"No, I did not do that on purpose. The captain was yelling at you to get below decks, but you weren’t paying attention. You were too busy arguing point of view and detail with me to listen to the omniscient narrator."
She looks startled. Perhaps she is.
"OH! Is that what all that other stuff going on in my head is all about?"
I smile and shake my head.
"It’s not in your head. It’s coming from the bluetooth "ear-bug" you’re wearing. Turn down the volume a little and you’ll be fine."
She does this and shakes her head in wonder, then hears the warning shout and ducks below deck, slamming the hatch cover down just as another wave drops where she was standing.
"Go get some clean, dry clothes on and warm up in the galley. I’ve got to go find out where this storm is coming from."
She nods and walks off toward her cabin, while I go and click blog pages closed.
"Damnit," yells another of my characters. "I wasn’t finished reading that!"
I smile, close the browser, and tab back to the end of the last chapter. Now I know why I ‘m having trouble with the story.