Normally, when I get an idea for a story or a character, it’s in a burst of enthusiasm and discovery that carries me at least halfway through the writing process. Then there’s Maddie. She’s a fabulous idea I have for a supernatural detective. The only problem is that in order to write Maddie’s story, I would have to learn police procedure and write out about five or six books-worth of mysteries for her to solve, because that’s how long it’s going to take to flesh her out. And I really don’t want to give Maddie six years of my life, especially not for police procedurals, which I don’t care to read and would probably hate to write. (Maddie has to solve mysteries, either as a police officer or a social worker. I’ve tried changing her profession and writing it as a thriller or urban fantasy instead of a mystery and all she does then is sit around and get angsty.) Arthur Conan Doyle shoved Holmes off a cliff because he couldn’t stand him anymore, and the fans staged massive protests and made him bring Holmes back anyway. I never want my writing to get to that point.
That should be the end of the story; I’ve got other characters to hold my interest, and Maddie is hardly the first or even the most beloved character to fall by the wayside. Except Maddie won’t leave me alone. I’m not thinking up new and interesting bits of her life; I figured all those out weeks ago. I’m not writing out or plotting the book; it doesn’t interest me. But I can’t stop thinking about her. It’s driving me up the wall. Anyone know either how to shut her up or how to transform the character and plot so that I can write her down and shut her up that way?