Over the past week I have taken a step back from my novel and have been working on the short story that I mentioned in last week’s post. Well, I thought it was a short story, but now it seems it is only the beginning of something much, much bigger. This current piece of writing came a time when I was in a ‘questioning’ type of mood. I began asking; who am I? Am I doing what I should be doing? I also began to wonder, if I hadn’t made the conscious decision to start writing finally, would my stories and words find another way to manifest themselves? This is when ‘she’ came to life. the woman who stared at the stranger in the mirror, my newest character. At this point in the writing process this character does not have a name and honestly, I’m not sure if she will ever have one. While this woman is not a representation of myself, she is not even an alter-ego, I do feel that she represents all those who are not following their dreams and those who are not true to their nature. I believe that if we do not consciously choose to embrace our true nature, then the world has a way of pushing us in the other direction. I’m not saying we all have a predetermined destiny that cannot be changed, I am simply saying if we do not remain true to ourselves, then we will never be truly happy with our lives, even when we think we have everything we need and want in life.
While writing ‘her’ story, I developed an incredible connection with this character. I’m feel as though she is telling me her story and I am watching it unfold before me. I do not know exactly where her story is heading, in fact I didn’t even know where it was heading as I was writing it. ‘She’ is the one telling the story, I am merely the one following, putting her words into writing. People who do not write, may not understand the emotional connection that writers develop with their characters, that’s why it is crucial for writers to find the right words to convey these emotions to the reader. As said by Robert Frost, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader”. As ‘she’ told me her story and I wrote down the words, I unashamedly admit, at times I was close to tears, I felt her pain, her heartache, her loneliness, confusion and frustration. I was shocked when I learned of the true nature of her ‘accident’ and the events that lead up to it (something I feel needs to be explored further), I just hope that I have found the right words to convey these emotions to the reader.
You see, a writer naturally forms a connection with their characters, it is a bond that forms on its own, it is not created. However, it is the writer’s job to help create that same connection for the reader, through the use of words, if they are going to truly appreciate and understand the story written.
Today I have a brief excerpt from my (not so) short story, showcasing the rainbow of emotions experienced by the lead character. Again, remember this is unedited work.
Image copyright Katherine A. Kovacs/The Writer Within
The endless frustration of having no recollection of her life before the accident was so physically and emotionally exhausting that sometimes she simply wanted to lash out.
Within the last few days she had pretended the loss of her memory did not bother her, she had screamed and yelled like a crazy person, told the doctors that she would give them anything if they could just give her back her life as it was before the accident and she had sobbed like a heartbroken teenager for hours on end. She moved back and forth through the stages of grief, but at this point she had not experienced the final stage of acceptance. She could not accept that the person in the mirror was a stranger, she could not accept that it had been three months since she was found and a week since she regained consciousness and in that time, not one person came looking for her, no one had reported her missing, not a single person had questioned her whereabouts. What had she done in her life before that would cause her to be utterly alone in the world?
She glanced across to where she had hurled the pen just moments before, she stepped towards it and bent down to pick it up. As the twirled the pen between her fingers, her anger began to subside. Again, she sat down on the edge of the bed and picked up the notebook she had thrown in her moment of frustration. As she moved the tip of the pen across the page she wrote four simple words, “live, love, laugh, write.”
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