The new character in the novel just wasn’t working. She tried to fit in the quirky sidekick, but ‘Marcus’ wasn’t working out.
As she started searching the document for references to delete, she heard his voice. “Come on. I’m a great addition to the book.” She turned around to face him.
“I love your personality and spark, but it’s just not working out. Maybe I’ll bring you back for another novel.”
He pouted. “I don’t want to go anywhere. And you know I won’t be the same once you erase me. The next time will come with different viewpoints and experiences. I’ll be different and you will be too.”
She paused. “True. But I’m sorry–you just can’t exist in this group,” she said as she gestured towards the rest of the cast of characters. They were all lounging around her office, some on the sofa and chairs while others stood or lazed on the floor. They were shimmery as if they weren’t fully formed.
All except for Marcus who was clear and present. He smirked a little. “You see it, don’t you? I’m the only real one in the bunch. You haven’t been able to grab onto the rest of them enough to bring them fully to life. I’m really the one who you created.”
She picked up her cup and lightly chewed on the straw as she thought. The entire novel was based around the shadows on the periphery. It was her novel, the one she had written and rewritten in her mind for years. The one she had finally committed herself to writing.
Once she had started writing, she had been initially uncomfortable with the characters physically invading her space. No one else knew she could write these people into existence. It was exciting until she realized that she was responsible for them. If they were unhappy, it was her fault. And the idea of truly getting rid of a character? It felt like murder.
Also, she was a little concerned. Would they stay forever? Imagine writing another novel–she’d need a new house just for all of the characters. She looked at Marcus waiting patiently for her thoughts to process.
“So what do I do? Keep you and get rid of the rest? You don’t all work together. And they are the ones who I always planned to write about.”
He shrugged. “They aren’t real. If you let them go, it’s like watching a bubble blow away. They don’t have any feelings that you haven’t written for them. If you delete them, they won’t even notice.”
He walked over to her and put his hands on her shoulders. “I, on the other hand, am real. You can feel me. I have my own thoughts and feelings separate from you. I have no idea how it happened, but I realized about a week ago that I can leave the house. I can eat and drink and talk to people besides you. I truly ‘am.'”
She almost jumped when he touched her–he was solid. How could this happen? And what was she supposed to do about it? Looking into his eyes, it became clear.
“You were the only one I connected with. And I can’t risk losing you by deleting you. I guess I’ll have to restart the book with a new main character. What do you think about helping me explore you more completely?”
He smiled. “No idea how or where this will go, but my life is in your hands.”