Characters on the bus

When bringing together the characters of a story, which the author knows will be a long one, the people who show up and have a part to play might as well have been waiting for a bus, so disparate and unconnected they appear.

This was my feeling anyway through several versions of the story I was writing, until the route became clear, the journey of a known length, the destination perfectly obvious, at last!

Had these folks only been going a few miles, barely far enough to get the seat warm, and then got off, there was nothing that could be made of their relationship to the others taking the same bus. But, if the journey was long, necessitating pee breaks, or a spot of lunch along the way, then there is likely to be discussion, conversation, discovery of a good reason why most were going the same way.

Often the scenery gets lost, made ordinary by the level of interest the travellers have decided to show each other, and the time passes more quickly than otherwise. There are hold-outs, of course; some people who would rather not say anything to anyone, who like going by bus, because the time spent travelling and doing nothing gives them an opportunity to turn inward and be anonymous. They will be ignored; there is a strict code among passengers about disturbing the silent person in the next seat, even if one is aching to do so.

Story-telling needs all of those changes in personal energetics, I have only mentioned a few. It would be a deep study in interpersonal relationship to take a bus, from London to Glasgow, Paris to Lyons, Boston to Chicago, Toronto to Winnipeg.

What would not happen?!

The storywriter by this time has gathered enough information to fill many pages, and may end up with characters who have made themselves very necessary to the story, precious beings, holding much of the spirit of the book.



  1. I am so looking forward to the book, thanks so much for the posts 🙂

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