Writing: developing a storyline character

A couple of people have mentioned to me that I wrote this current novel, Nights of Indigo Blue, rather quickly in that it’s been only two years since Covering the Sun with My Hand was published. It may appear to have happened fast but the truth is that the protagonist, Daisy Muniz, stepped onto my pages about eight years ago.

During an introductory creative writing course, the adjunct faculty member provided a prompt to the small class. She told us to pick a children’s tale and create an updated story using its bones and so Daisy was born.

I chose to use Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I met Daisy as she laid in the “hard” bed. Her boyfriend Lou made life miserable for her. She smoothed the  edges of hardness off with Harvey’s Bristol and whatever else she could get her hands on until finally she climbed down off the unforgiving mattress. While working in a bar, Daisy spent many an evening bumping soft body parts with Letty. Those pretty white teeth were revealed whenever Letty smiled at her, which was often. Daisy found that bed a little too soft and eventually set out to make her own bed. With a little nip and tuck of the sheets, Daisy created a life that she could nestle into that was just right.

In this Daisy incarnation, she is still fending off the ghosts that permeated the first bed until she woke up. Letty is now one of her best friends and not a love interest while still indulging Daisy with unconditional love. Daisy is still working on her character defects and stumbles onto mischief and mayhem at a regular pace.

My desire to spit books out has yet to happen. Writing is becoming a bit easier but I still depend on the characters to tell me what’s next. I hope they never stop whispering in my ear. They’ve gone from paper personalities to becoming friends of mine.

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