An Elizabethan stage play
If you write novels, people are bound to ask, “Where do your characters come from?”
Well, I write fantasy, so “write what you know” is out. Model characters after real people. But I’ve never met any kings, outlaws, hermits, or barbarian chieftains, so that’s out, too.
I don’t know where my characters come from!
It’s the truth. It’s as if the book were a stage set up for a play, with the characters all waiting in the wings for their cues to come onstage. They already know their lines! They know what they’re supposed to do. Pop goes the cue, and “Enter Lady Gwenlann,” who appears to be a scatterbrained wardrobe mistress but in reality is in charge of all the king’s spies. Cue again, and “Enter Jocky,” the king’s fool.
Really, it’s just as if the characters were already signed up and waiting to play their parts… and I didn’t have much to do with it. I need ’em, and there they are.
This is one of those things that makes writing fun. You don’t have to do it this way, but I’ve come to enjoy it.