I mean a literal meeting with your characters.
You know, sat on chairs around a table, kind of meeting.
I’ve spent most of the day involved in those kind of meetings and at some point, when I am certain I was supposed to be paying close attention, I thought about writers having meetings.
Not with their agents or editors. Not even with the press in an interview about the stellar success of their latest novel. But a meeting with the main characters, possibly even some of the minor characters, of their latest work.
TV shows have read throughs in the Writer’s Room or with the actors before filming, so why not the protagonists of your latest work?
Are they happy with their roles? Does the dialogue feel realistic to them? Do they understand where the plot is leading them?
Maybe they aren’t happy with their latest date? Or they would have definitely defended themselves with the pencil and not the rolled up magazine. Or why they need to wear a mixed wool blend in their pullover despite their allergies.
I’m not even going to get into the woeful way I accessorise my female characters and or why they didn’t get to use the pencil!
I apologise unreservedly.
Imagine if James Bond had demanded of Ian Fleming why every woman he meets turns out to be working for the opposition or is killed fifteen pages after he meets them? Harry Potter arguing with J.K. Rowling about wanting a bigger wand? Or Rebus asking Ian Rankin for a transfer to Exeter.
So, how do you think you would fair with your characters in a face to face meeting?
Give it a try. Make an agenda. And make sure there is plenty of coffee.
P.s. Make notes!