Fictional Characters or Imaginary Friends?

Last night, my mother and I sat quietly watching the Royal Pains wedding “two hour movie event.” (Yes, I like stupid USA network shows like Royal Pains, Psych and White Collar. Don’t judge.)

Two characters had just rushed out of a Las Vegas wedding chapel when suddenly I started jumping up on down on the couch and screeching.

I hit pause on the remote.

“That’s where Mindy and Daniel get married, or almost get married, or whatever!” I pointed to the sign on the screen that reads, “Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel.”

Mindy and Daniel are characters in the book I’m attempting to write.

You know how it is when a TV show or movie films in your area? When you see very familiar places on the screen and get a little jolt, a “hey, I’ve been there!” feeling of excitement?

That’s how I felt when I saw that wedding chapel sign, like I had an actual connection to the place instead of a fictional one.

To my mother’s credit, she didn’t ask who Mindy and Daniel were or remind me that not only are Mindy and Daniel fictional, they are characters I made up in my head.

She just smiled and asked if we could watch the rest of the show.

It took me a while to focus, though, because I like feeling connected to my characters.

I even follow Upland, California (the location of my novel) on Facebook.

I know when all their city council meetings are held, the holiday hours of the local library and how to apply for a job in the public works department.

Really, I have no earthly reason for being so current with Upland affairs. Daniel will never apply for that public works job and I can’t imagine Sebastian on the city council, but I feel like I should know what’s going on where they live.

I suppose this “relationship” with fictional people is rather strange, but after spending so much time with them you feel like they are friends.

And maybe that’s all writing really is, making up imaginary friends and telling stories about them.


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