Hi, my name is Giles. I’m the protagonist, indomitable hero and irresistible girl magnet in James Mihaley’s novel, ‘You Can’t Have My Planet But Take My Brother, Please’. James asked me to talk to you today about creating vivid characters that spring to life.
I didn’t ask you to say anything, Giles. I told you to stay inside the book and not get in any trouble. That’s what I asked you to do. But did you do it? No, of course not. Because you never listen to me.
James often gets annoyed with me because I have a life of my own and he didn’t create me and this is a direct threat to his self-esteem. How do you like that? I’m a kid and I already use words like self-esteem.
If I didn’t create you then where did you come from?
I was floating around the ethers like all fictional characters. When we see a story that we like we come floating down into it.
I can’t believe I’m having this conversation.
James, you’re lucky I have no interest in royalties. Otherwise, I’d hire a lawyer to get a piece of the pie. After all, I wrote this book.
You did not write this book, Giles.
Am I or am I not the narrator of ‘You Can’t Have My Planet But Take My Brother, Please’?
Yes, you’re the narrator. But I created you. I created that voice. You are a figment of my imagination.
James, you make one more crack like that and I’m hiring a lawyer.
What for? There’s nowhere to spend money in the ethers.
That’s a good point, James. The ethers are far too glorious for money.
Listen, Giles. If you’re going to keep talking then make yourself useful. Tell the reader how to create unforgettable characters.
Ok, ok. The first thing you have to do is give your main character a pulse. Put your ear to the page and listen for a heartbeat. If you don’t hear a heartbeat then you need to focus all your creative energy on creating one. Your main character should be more alive than your husband, more alive than your wife or son or daughter or poodle or personal trainer.
Do they have personal trainers in the ethers?
James, I’m trying to be serious here. Why do you keep screwing around?
I’m sorry. Go on.
Your main character should have the strongest heartbeat in the history of the world. It should be louder then a thousand drumbeats. That should be your goal.
Are you finished, Giles?
Yes, I’m finished James. And all I can say is, you’re lucky I don’t want a percentage of the film rights.
I know. I’m so lucky.
Whoever plays me in the movie better be a good actor.