Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The Fragmented Mirror ~ Our Characters
One of the biggest occurrences a writer can experience is the discovery of who their character truly is. For years I've worked on my fantasy trilogy, desperately trying to uncover who my main character really was. Always I was leaving off with, "Maybe this is who she truly is." But I knew that it wasn't entirely the case, that I had only, yet again, felt the surface. In a lot of ways, a false surface. She'd shed her skin once again. But when you go through draft after draft year after year, either through feeling insane or at a loss, you can't help but wonder if your character is just some wild thing that acts on its own accord, whether or not you really know her.
It's taken almost--if not completely--eight years for me to realize a part of who Alexis is. And I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I wasn't ready to know, for the longest time. I hadn't grown enough. But yesterday, I discovered a part of it--discovered the perfect words for who she is, at least, to me. She's my hero. Because she is the complete reflection of the part of me that is the rough, ragged soldier that keeps going. She is the part of me that rises from the ashes of my own self destruction and slandering that makes me ask, "Why the heck are you still getting up?" when I'm really down. The part that just looks me in the eye, takes my hand, and keeps walking. We have a journey to make. And not all the time in the world to get there.
I was so excited when I realized that, I leapt out of bed and scribbled it down on a piece of paper. (I always have paper lying around, it's inevitable).
But I will add that I still don't know her. My closest character (not my oldest, but the one closest to me) she may be, and there are things about her that I know. I know that she loves her family, that she struggles with getting back to them. She fights to believe that her dad will come back home. She wonders why she was put in a strange world, when she had no idea what her purpose was even at home. She likes fruity things more than chocolatey things, and loves to hear people's stories. I know that the sun rises and sets for her, as it does for the rest of us. But the rest is a mystery. She is herself, fragments of a mirror of myself. I have no idea when her story will be complete. What course it will take. Storytelling isn't so much a science, as it is a tap into your lifeblood. Perhaps what comes out means something.
~ Elora Shore
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