Saturday, August 11, 2012

Can I Stop The Signal?

Does anyone else find themselves accidentally channeling their favorite fictional characters when they're writing fiction?

For example, I'm sure it will surprise no one who reads this blog to learn that I am a HUGE fan of Firefly. Have been for years. Imagine my surprise when I sat down to write Atticus for the Undead and, quite unintentionally, found that Hunter had become Mal! Now, if you've read the book and watched the show, you'll know that they have little to do with each other. There's no space travel in Atticus, and, though he lives and works in Texas, Hunter is no cowboy. He might own a brown coat, but if so, it's purely coincidental. And yet, every time Hunter said something on the page, it was Mal saying that same thing in my head. (I may or may not have had to stop myself from inserting "gorram" and "shiny" into Hunter's dialogue a few times.)

Similarly, when I was writing Assistant Director Odell Graves, Moira's boss in The Void (Book 2 of The Weaver Saga, Book 1 of which is now free everywhere, by the way), I found that he wanted to sound very much like Agent Broyles from Fringe. (In this case, it probably didn't help that one of my beta readers for the book is a huge Fringe fan and actively pushed me in that direction.) I suppose this one is more understandable since both men are FBI Agents and both are the bosses of the main characters in their respective series'. And I do like the Broyles character quite a lot. But he's not allowed to body-snatch my FBI Agent, dammit!

And then, tonight, as I was working on Identity Theft (sequel to Atticus for the Undead), I was writing an exchange in which Hunter's new client asked him why anyone would ever willingly let themselves be mind-controlled. It took true force of will to stop Hunter from replying, "Some people juggle geese." So not only does Hunter want to channel Firefly, he can't even stick to a single character. Curse him and his zombie-defending ways!

Seriously though, am I the only one with this problem? Do vampire writers ever find their vampire characters talking like Spike or Damon Salvatore? Do space fiction writers ever have Han Solo or Admiral Adama earworming them as they write? This can't be just me--can it?

1 comment:

  1. This is a very interesting blog post, John. I'm kind of a Browncoat myself.