I just read a blog by a person who very eloquently wrote about the dark side we all have inside of us. I agree with him 100%. I think, one of the reasons writers are so compelled to put words down on paper is to wrestle with those parts of us, both positive and negative and to put a face, so to speak on what we see around us, both positive and negative.
Then I started thinking about the character in my book who seems to be taking over the story at the moment. She has given me great pause. As all writers know, every character is a creation of our imagination. Sometimes based on a real person, sometimes a group of people. She, this character in particular, seems to be more like me than I had anticipated. I can write her very easily because I know her so well.
So, what if as you write, you realize, that a character is a part of you. Most characters are in some way a part of us, but if one stands up and practically screams at you, that it is you, yourself ,or maybe just a part of you. Do we try to change that character to reflect us less. I don’t think so. In creating this character, we are exploring our inner demons, dusting off the cobwebs of the darker corners of our minds. We are holding a mirror up to our face and asking, should I go there. It takes bravery to look into those corners, much less to share them with others, but in essence, isn’t that what writing is about? Isn’t that what writers do?
I think about this, as this character takes me to places I have never been and yet has a part of my personality that is undeniable. She is aggressive when she wants to get something done. She can be quiet and sneaky. She is determined and intrepid and always gets her way. To some extent, much of this is me. She is also quietly calm, loving, considerate, compassionate and a good friend. To some extent, these are me too. Aren’t we all a mixture of good and not so good.
Am I exploring the part of me that is less amiable. Yes, I think she represents the juxtaposition of the passive other character with her aggressive ability to make things happen and to see the seamier side of life and accept that it is only one reality and not all there is. She finds herself in both realities at different times and yet is accepting of both as being where she is at the moment. She is adaptable.
It is not always easy to look at our more negative characteristics. Especially those that can also be very beneficial at times. Like aggression, which can be a good thing if it helps to get things done and motivate oneself and others. Part of the storyline of my book is just that, one characters motivation of another.
As you can tell, I am very engrossed in this novel at the moment and lest you think I have forgotten about my family stories, I have not. I did some more searching yesterday for the hard to find persons in my tree. No luck, but as with the others, something usually breaks and then one clue leads to another. I appreciate you readers and thank you.