Black Friday is in full swing at the Office of the Ombudsman for Fictional Characters.
As National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) enters its final week, the lobby has become packed with desperate clientele.
Behind a wrap-around counter, the receptionist holds court. She wears a white uniform, blood red lipstick, a black headband, a retro hairstyle and an expression that screams just shoot me.
Glancing up through her eyelashes at what appears to be a cartoon cut-out, she exclaims in mock surprise,”Wait! Wait! Don’t tell me, two dimensional villain – seeking substance!”
The villain nods vigorously, causing him to shimmer in and out of existence.
“If I can’t have depth or nuance,” he says, “I’ll settle for a hobby.”
“Take a number,” she tells him.
By now, a long line of private eyes, Victorian chamber maids, abused children, cowboys, star-troopers, ghosts and apprentice wizards stretches out the door and zig-zags down the sidewalk past Great Clips and Papa Murphy’s Pizza.
“At least you have dimension,” grumbles a deep voice resonating from nowhere in particular.
“Who said that?” the villain asks.
The receptionist rolls her eyes. “Around here,” she explains, “You rarely see a first person character.”
As she speaks, the LED light display on the ceiling flashes a new number.
A waif stumbles up the center aisle, desperately waving a ticket.
“What’s your story, hon?” the receptionist asks.
“I am the illegitimate child of the second son of the Earl of Gramford,” she sobs, “Suffering from amnesia brought on by…”
“You are a mess aren’t you?”
The little waif nods her head.
“So what do you want to lose first, the back-story or the syrupy melodrama?”
“I don’t know,” she wails, “If, if…only my author would listen to me….”
The receptionist nudges a box of Kleenex across the counter, and sighs deeply as the last hours of NaNoWriMo tick slowly away….
26 thoughts on “Office of the Ombudsman for Fictional Characters”
Are you sure you weren’t an editor in a previous life? Because I’m thinking that you described a typical day’s work for most of them. Oh, the perils of writing fiction…..
Maybe I was an editor in a previous life – but I must have worked with another language because I have never been able to master English. 🙂
So your Papa Murphys is located next to Great Clips, too, just like in Faribault. Hmmmm….
To be truthful (a rare occasion on this blog), here is the Google street view of Almost Iowa (and I am not kidding). It is downtown Moscow MN.
Ah, I wondered where one of my characters had gone. I’m afraid I’m going to have to demand his return – there’s nothing wrong with him as he’s written, he’s just manipulative and a terrible liar.
That is not what he says… 🙂 As ombudsmen, we have to believe the characters.
Never mind, then. Just tell him I’m about to write a chapter where his mortal enemy swots up on untraceable poisons.
I listened to my characters once. Talk about a mess. I’ll tell you. By the way, I have three characters I’d like to get rid of. Can you take them off my hands? Pleeeeezze. Back, back, back, get back. I told you I was sending you to Iowa. I don’t care if you don’t want to go to Iowa. They have a nice rest home for characters just like you. Now get out of my care. Oh, sorry. Greg, you were not supposed to hear that.
Sure, we will take them. They can live with the outside cats.
I think I love her. Please write more…
I would write more of her, but she is hard to handle. Terrible attitude and all that. 🙂
Funny and too true. This is why I haven’t had the courage to tackle NaNoWriMo yet. My characters would be in the line. BTW – the receptionist, as you describe her, sounds like Abby on NCIS.
Close… I was thinking of Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials.
Has to laugh out loud. This kind of Character angst happens outside of NaNoWriMo
It does. My characters yearn for tragedy, then when I give it to them, they whine.
My main character wanted to kill someone. I said no for two books and finally gave in. He was sick for a week.
Have you been reading my pages, then?
Everyone’s pages look like this…it is only after the fifteen rewrite of the fourth rewrite that our WIP’s begin to look readable. 😦
LOVE THIS!!!! Especially as I am NaNo’ing my life away at the moment.
During one of my bouts of writer’s block I wrote a short bit wherein the characters break the fourth wall to complain at the author about how terrible her writing is lol.
Our characters need an opportunity to vent. Oddly, mine keep asking for more tragedy….
Reblogged this on The Random Craftacular and commented:
Thank you for reblogging this!!
That’s hilarious…and sad for a few people, I’m sure, but funny.
A lot of people will see their work in this… but that is okay, better to see it than not see it.
I firmly believe that you have to be able to laugh at yourself.
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