We sat down last night to watch a movie and stumbled on the film Inkheart. Although I hadn't seen too many previews of it, my youngest son said it looked like something good. So we went ahead and ordered it through Comcast.
The movie is from a book of the same name (written by Cornelia Funke), and the premise is that there are certain individuals (known as Silvertongues) who can literally bring things out of books when they read aloud from them. I always like these types of movies, because they resonate so strongly with me as a writer. Even if the movie isn't great, I can feel the storyline going on behind the images.
There is one interesting aspect however, that really got me to thinking. At one point in the movie, the author of the book the Silvertongue has read from is told that his characters are walking around in the flesh. So what does he do? Well he strides out to meet the character of course. I thought this idea had some really interesting implications. What if I could meet a character from a book in person? Which ones would I really like to meet, and which ones would I be terrified to meet?
One of my favorite characters is The Walking Dude from the Stand. He's truly diabolical and just plain cool. I don't think I'd want to meet him on the street however, since he is evil personified. Actually, since it's implied that he just might be Satan, maybe I've met or seen him already and haven't known it? I also don't know if I'd want to meet any of my own characters. My writing process is so jumbled and messy, I'd be afraid my characters would want to string me up for not fleshing them out enough.
There is a scene where a character goes back into the book Inkheart, aware that he is merely a character in a book. Could he change the path of the book, since he has attained awareness? How would we feel if our characters didn't really like the roads we were taking them down (post publication)? In my case, the characters usually tell me what they're doing anyway, so I guess it wouldn't bother me. But what about in your stories? Would you be upset if suddenly your MC decided he liked the blonde thin girl instead of the saucy brunette you'd taken pains to set him up with?
Would you relish the opportunity to meet a character in the flesh (yours or any other one)? Are there any that you'd rather not meet?
A final note - I really like books like this that get me to thinking. It's fun, even if the answers are merely theoretical. Sometimes the answers can lead me to more new stories.