The burning question: have I created memorable characters and is their story as stunning as I would hope for?
If I’d written “Gone With The Wind” I would be Margaret Mitchell. No doubt she felt chuffed to bits when her blockbuster hit the bookstands and became a best-seller overnight. But, a lingering question has always surrounded Margaret Mitchell’s one-book deal. “Why did she only ever write the one book?” But she didn’t, did she, she wrote “Lost Laysen”, a novella. And, it was written ten years before GWTW!
Who can’t remember Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), Scarlett O’Hara (Vivienne Leigh), Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) and Melanie Wilkes (Olivia de Havilland)? OK, so the movie itself has visualised the characters for us. The novel, if read, is memorable in other ways. Its detailed descriptions of time and place and vivid characters leap from the page and all, as good as, if not better than the movie portrays.
Have you heard of Miss Ross & Bill Duncan? NO? Well you’re not alone. Yet, Miss Ross and Bill Duncan are as vibrant and intriguing as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara, and equally spring from the pages of “Lost Laysen” in a flurry of romantic notions and that of unrequited love.
Now, if I can write novels again in which characters as good as leap from the page and become real people – if but for a moment in time – perhaps even memorable long after the book has been read and put away, I shall be a happy bunny. As for Margaret Mitchell, the kind of fame and momentary glitz and glamour that came her way has never been my dream. If it ever threatened, I’d do a Greta Garbo and rely on mystique of shades! ;)