And who, you may ask, is Seymour? This is Seymour:
Actually, this is a picture I found while looking for a picture of an adorable young steampunk boy. His name is not actually Seymour. But I needed an adorable young steampunk boy to make Mitu feel guilty, so for today we’re going to call him Seymour Pigeon.
Yes, Seymour Pigeon. Seymour Pigeon is a character in Mitu‘s novel. I had a hand in his creation, although to be perfectly honest I can’t remember exactly how Seymour Pigeon came to be* a stowaway on the airship upon which Mitu’s protagonists were traveling.
Anyway, Mitu is not a fan of Seymour. I made her put him into the story, but she wants to write him out. Only now she’s discovered that will be difficult since Seymour does actually serve a purpose in one scene.
Now, I can sympathize. Mitu is dealing with the common problem of OH MY WALLABIES THE RANDOM CHARACTERS THEY JUST KEEP SHOWING UP. I’m dealing with this problem, too, though in my case I’m writing a series so maybe these characters will end up being important down the road. But Mitu’s appears to be a one-off, and she’s a bit frustrated with THE RANDOM CHARACTERS THEY JUST KEEP SHOWING UP.
I keep telling her, well, if you’ve got these random characters, use them. Need a random extra body in the next scene? Use Seymour! Need an excuse for character A to stay behind when the rest of the group goes off? Oh noes, Seymour is sick! Need a plot twist to transport them to another continent? Fortunately, Seymour is a magic-user, and since we’ve established he has whooping cough**, he can cough and lose control of his abilities and hey-presto-POOF they’ve traveled to the other continent!
Now, since I helped bring Seymour into being, obviously I’m a little biased. But I still believe Seymour Pigeon deserves to live! So I am calling on you, dear readers (hi FBI!), to help me! SAVE SEYMOUR PIGEON!!!! SAVE SEYMOUR PIGEON!!!!! Leave a comment or spam Mitu or do something similarly silly and help me SAVE SEYMOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, I’m in the midst of my own minor character crisis. As in, they were eating lunch and Cat’s abuela was speaking in Spanish to irritate Cat’s mother and suddenly Cat’s mother is saying it’s rude to speak Spanish in front of those who don’t speak it and suddenly they’re eating lunch with a hippie and his three children from the Eastern part of Canada and they have names like Sun-through-Clouds and Sage and Snow Hare except the dad’s name is Kevin and his first wife died and Snow Hare is his child by his second marriage and she’s half African oh and she’s deaf because of course she is and WHERE DID YOU PEOPLE COME FROM AND WHY DO I KNOW ALL OF THIS ABOUT YOU???
So, Mitu, I really do feel your pain. Sweet Mother of the Eternal Flaming Hedgehog, do I feel your pain.
I am never going to finish this damn thing. I WILL FINISH THIS DAMN THING IF IT KILLS ME. At least Sage has some minor plot significance…and maybe Cat will actually make it back to Earth a few books down the line and I can use the characters again.
*Writers, let this be a lesson: when brainstorming, always use a condom. Otherwise you may end up with a little bundle of novelling joy.