Has it really been over a month since I posted? Shame on me!
In case I haven't mentioned it before, I'm going to mention it again: it is quite common for a writer's characters to talk to them. The character interview is a critical writing tool.
It sucks when your characters aren't talking to you.
Fay didn't talk to me for three weeks. I've learned that when Fay doesn't talk to me, I'm miserable. I've also learned that when she doesn't talk to me, I don't get any stories, including those that do not feature her.
I told my writing instructor about this problem and she said: "You need to apologize and let her know that you will be true to her and her story."
Yep. In my attempt to please everyone, I distorted the story and stopped listening to Fay. When someone doesn't listen to me, I stop talking too, so I can't blame her. I drove home from my writing class and flopped onto my bed like a moping teenager.
It's been almost thirty years since I've stared at my ceiling in angst.
I apologized and made a solemn promise to Fay: I would not alter her story unless by her direction. Within the next couple of days, she was talking to me again. We are rewriting the novel. She feeds me bits of the story and demands that I write the prose before she reveals anything further. This process is slow, but the quality has improved. I realized I'd never really listened to her with an open mind and heart.
If you are someone that knows my email address and you would like to read what I have so far, send me an email and I'll share with you via Google docs.