"I hope you intend to finish the book."
My chair leans backwards and I find myself looking up at a boy with straw-colored hair and blue eyes. I blink a few times as I process his sudden appearance. There are no blond-haired, blue-eyed boys in my family, especially none this old. And while I'm getting used to boys flirting with me on front counter at work, it isn't supposed to happen at my Grandparents' house.
"Because you see," he continued, in a distinct country drawl. "If you you don't finish the book, we'll never stop Reginald and everything will be horrible."
"Yes, John, I intend to finish the book," I say, realizing who this is. The captain of this starship I've been writing about for the last month. Or, at the moment, he's just a fifteen-(nearly sixteen)-year-old farm boy. But he's both in the book, so it works.
"Not only that," he continues, as though I hadn't said anything. "But you just left Trix with a broken leg, and that's not fun. Do you like breaking bones or something, because back in chapter eight ..."
"The next chapter is the doctor's," I say, shaking my head. "She needs some sort of medical emergency, and Trix volunteered."
"And I suppose that the still unnamed little girl also volunteered," suggests John.
"She gave you a chance to be heroic and all that," I point out. "And she doesn't need a name. Not important to the story."
"Which brings me to another point," John continues. "I'm the only character mentioned in the book description, and I've so far gotten the least screen time. My chapter and two others, and you only half-wrote the second of those."
"It involved medical terms," I said, shaking my head. "I didn't have time to mess with trying to figure out what to do with them - and I'm going to have to mess with them in the next chapter, too."
"But I'm the captain, the one character whose name you've told your readers on your blog," John continues to protest. "Captain Kirk was always the hero in every episode and movie. Me, I just sit around on the bridge while everyone else saves the ship."
"Well I can't help it that everyone who's had a chapter since you has wanted to be the hero," I tell him, shaking my head. "And since they're the ones writing, you're just going to have to live with it."
"But it's my ship!"
"Well, your character is obviously not as strong as some of the others. Don't get me wrong, you're a great guy and all, but you don't have any problems. The doctor is trying to get over her shyness and the fact that there are men on the ship. The princess is trying to get used to the fact that she'll never see anyone she knows again, and that she's about to marry a stranger. Your security chief ... well he's there for a dual reason, your second officer just found out that she has some non-human DNA, and that's just some of the other characters. Haven't even talked about the computer and his sister."
"But I'm the captain!"
I sigh. "Maybe you'll be more important in another book. For now, be the best captain you can be, stop trying to be the only hero, and let the other eleven have their day in the sun. You may find that that works out best. And next time, give your character a few problems. I don't write Stu's very well." I slide my computer into my bag. "But for now, I'm done with NaNo. Fifty thousand words. That's the longest first draft I've ever written. It's no easy feat."