The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Writer’s Mailbox: an e-mail from my protagonist

Technology being what it is, it’s only a matter of time before we hear about an Outlook or Gmail upgrade that taps into our subconscious minds and allows direct communication with our characters before we even finish writing the novel or the short story.

outlooklogo2The app will be touted as the best and the brightest in computer software because it will (purportedly): (a) reduce the number of misunderstandings between writers and characters, (b) allow characters to nag writers into spending more time working, (c) will give characters a chance to co-create their own destinies rather than being stuck doing what authors want them to do.

Imagine e-mails like these:

  • Malcolm, you thoughtless bastard, I just learned that I’m going to die in chapter three. WTF. You’re not giving me a chance, man. I promise I’ll stop using cliches and cornball dialogue if you’ll let me at least make it until chapter six. — Bob
  • Malcolm, I don’t want to make love with Ralph because I don’t like the name Ralph. In fact, in your last story, my dad’s name as Ralph and he not only was a thoughtless bastard, but he smoked. Now having a guy named Ralph as a lover is just simply ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww. –Monique
  • Malcolm, two guys with rifles came into my backyard yesterday afternoon planning to shoot me. I understand that you have to sleep and that you had to go to the grocery stores this morning, but since then, you haven’t done squat to resolve this scene. Unlike Bob, I know I make it to the end of the book, but I don’t want to get there if I get shot and come out of the hospital as a vegetable (especially celery). When are you going to open the doc file and finish this chapter? — Eulalie
  • Malcolm, I signed up to be in a John Grisham book, or at least a Nora Roberts book, so how the hell did I end up in your book? There’s been a hideous error at Central Casting. Please talk to them. — Zeke
  • Malcolm, I’ve figured out how to escape from your story and show up in the fiction you authors believe is your “real life.” You have no idea how the system works. Now, upgrade my role in “Lust in The Attic of Old Dreams” or I’ll have to come out there. Since you made me a tough guy, you gotta ask yourself, “Do I feel lucky.” – Harry

No doubt, this software will arrive on our computers as an automatic upgrade that cannot be removed without making dangerous manual changes to the file allocation table. SPAM from our characters: hell, that might be enough to make me quit the business and become a used car salesman or a hitman.




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