There’s a period after I finish a book where the world and characters stay with me. If I really enjoyed the book, I relish in it longer, trying to make the feeling last. I welcome anything that reminds me of the characters or place.
When I was younger I would imagine being in the world. I would be a character I liked or add myself to the story in some way. This type of play allowed me to either empathize with a character and their motives or look at the world more closely. Often, I’d change the way things actually went in the story. Sometimes writing still reminds me of that type of play which, I suspect, is its great appeal.
The other day, I was washing dishes, and I was lost in the world of my own novel. Now, I’ve been consumed in writing before while struggling to figure out the mechanics of how to pull something off. I’ve spent many distracted days this way. (You can ask my husband.) I’ve analyzed my characters, their motives and their neurosis. But in that small and unexpected moment at the kitchen sink, I saw my story world as separate from myself. Yes, it is something I created and manipulated. Still, somehow, now it seems alive, when it did not a moment before. It has rules and a structure, and I am only there to help guide these people on their way. And that, my friends, is pretty exciting.
Tell me what it is like for you.