by Mary Sutton / @mary_sutton73
I'm in love. Not just with my husband - with Trooper First Class Jim Duncan.
I've written a story about these two. Actually, I've written several. And they are giving me heartburn as a writer right now.
Recently, someone suggested that maybe I just need to "give up" on these characters and find some new ones. But I can't. See Jim and Sally are begging, no demanding, that I write their stories. I started a project for this fall fully intending to create some new characters. But I just couldn't get going on it. The voice was all wrong. And in my writer's ear, I heard Jim and Sally talking to me. In an outraged tone, they said, "Why are you trying to give away our story?"
(This is where you start thinking of calling the men in white coats. Unless you're a writer, in which case you completely understand.)
I gave Jim and Sally the story. It flew out of my fingers. It's still a shitty first draft, but it's a good story (I think). So is the one I'm working on - their first story. Even my editor said I've got something good here, with good characters. Jim Duncan is a hard-working, divorced man just trying to do a good job as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.
And there's the rub.
Yeah, I could walk away and tell Duncan that I just can't write his story. That I'm not good enough. That I don't want to be in his world. Some would say just take him out of that world, but I can't do that either. He'd be a fish out of water - and I can't do that to him.
And somehow, I think Jim and Sally would find a way to exact their revenge if I did.
Have you ever fallen in love with one of your characters?