190. A Conversation with Lance Eliot

This is a conversation with a character from my book, The Trials of Lance Eliot. Although it may appear strange for someone to speak with a fictional person, it is entirely normal for writers to converse with their characters. At least, I really hope it is.

Nice to see you, Adam.

Gah! Where did you come from?

Los Angeles, originally—or are you wondering how I got into your flat?

Yes, that’s it. Who are you? What the heck are you doing in my apartment?

Really, Adam. I’m Lance Eliot. I thought you of all people would recognize me.

Ah, sorry about that. I’ve actually don’t have a clear mental picture of you.

You haven’t? Hang it, Adam, you’re the chap writing my blasted story. You’ve really no idea of what I look like?

Excessive physical description is a sign of poor characterization. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Whatever you say.

Why are you here? My characters don’t usually drop in on me. Well, there was that one time Innocent came over for coffee and—Lance Eliot, put that down!

Don’t fret. You were the one who gave me a fighting staff, remember? I know how to use it.

That’s exactly what worries me. Will you please stop showing off? I’m not comfortable watching you wave that thing around. This apartment is full of breakable objects, including me. Please put down the weapon before someone gets hurt. And by someone, I mean Adam.

All right, I’ll put it away.

How the heck did you get here, anyway? I left you in Rovenia. That’s a long way from here. A really long way.

Maia sent me. You should have thought twice before giving one of your characters the ability to bounce people between dimensions by magic.

Well, I had to get you out of the real world and into my world somehow. Magic seemed like a good explanation at the time. I didn’t think you’d use it to get back into the real world. Why did Maia send you?

We’re all very bored, Adam.

What?

You’ve stranded us. For nearly an entire year, we’ve been stuck in that quaint little town—

What was it called?

You don’t even remember? God help me, the person writing my story is an idiot.

That’s a bit harsh.

The town is called Hurst, Adam. We’re all ready to go. We’ve been ready for months. Don’t tell me you’ve interrupted my life with another deuced adventure only to put it on hold indefinitely!

Not indefinitely. I’m working on it. Slowly.

See here, Adam, I’m concerned. We all are. As long as you put off writing the story, we’re never going to find—

Quiet! You’re giving away plot details.

And this time, I’m not the only person you’ve involved. You’ve dragged someone else into this dreadful adventure, and she—

Stop! I won’t have you blurting out your own story.

Then answer me, Adam. If I don’t tell the story, who will?

Lance, the past year has been… busy. My life is crowded with responsibilities. It’s hard for me to sit and write for hours on end, especially when I consider how few copies I’ve sold of your book. Writing is uphill work. And I may not deal with dragons or sorcerers, but I do suffer from depression sometimes. I know that’s a problem to which you can relate.

Yes. I can.

I have a blog now, too! It takes a lot of work, and my typewriter monkeys drive me crazy, but it’s totally worth it. The problem is that the blog has deadlines, and… your story doesn’t. I’ll get it written. Just give me time.

I haven’t much, you know.

You have enough. Now then, I have a blog post to finish. Say hello to everyone for me, will you?

By the way, Cog asked me to ask you to make him taller.

I refuse to pander to my characters. Tell him he’s tall enough.

All right, then. I guess it’s time for me to slip away. Keep writing, won’t you?

And he’s gone. How did he do that? How do they ever do that? Ah, well. Lance Eliot is a good fellow—though I regret giving him a weapon. No writer should ever be threatened by one of his own characters. Any future heroes will have to be pacifists, I guess. Now then, back to work!

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