An interesting thing happens when I'm working on a new writing project. I say interesting because I'm afraid that if I complain, it will stop happening. I'm that terrified of my muse, you see.
Anyway, at a certain point my characters turn into real people. I know them, and although they have a knack for surprising me from time-to-time, they're fairly predictable. This is especially true for the characters in my screenplay - they surprise me all the time.
These people -- especially the leads -- are so present in my daily life and thoughts that sometimes I wish they'd just go out and get a cup of coffee or something so that I can get a few hours away from them. Like friends who don't know when to go home, they consume every moment of my life. But, in the very next breath I hasten to add that I don't want them to leave me alone for very long. (Hear that, Muse?) Just go catch a movie or something.
What has made them even more real to me is that I'm writing their parts for particular actors; I know not only what they look like, I also know their body language, their mannerisms, their speech patterns and the subtle nuances of their facial movements. The eyes, especially. As far as I'm concerned, this is the only way to write. I used this device when I wrote my novel and it made the characters very real to other people, as well as myself.
My characters actually have two roles because the story takes place in two different centuries, simultaneously. But that's all I care to tell you here. Sorry I can't link my screenplay-in-progress; it's kept on a private blog. Well, if you're really that interested and would like to follow along, you can email me and I'll send you an invite. But if you'd only look the first page over out of curiosity and never return, sorry.
Woops, they're calling. Gotta run.