Writers are strange people. I should know... I am one. We think in stories, dialogues, and details. We think of the way things were, how they are, and how they could be. That's the best part... how they could be. Endless possibilities await in that one phrase.
I haven't been writing much the past few days. Mainly because work has taken hold. Writing doesn't pay the bills, so work can sometimes be more important. 10-12 hour work days plus commute time, etc., etc. You get the picture. But today, something strange happened. I was working on paperwork. Organizing my folders, tracking training hours, etc. when I noticed I had notes from my research for my series in my work notebook. Pages upon pages of quotes and ideas. I even had an outline hidden in there. Sometimes organization isn't my strong suit. Sometimes, I just write whatever I'm thinking down on the nearest sheet of paper, and sometimes, that happens to be my work notebook.
That sent a spark through the realm I've created/am creating. I'm not one of those writers who knows exactly what is going to happen in my story before it happens. I mainly let the characters speak for themselves. That can be a bit messy.
**SPOILER**: A few character names are about to be revealed. I apologize ahead of time. Of course, it might not matter because I could just be writing this for it never to be published.
Right now, I have a few characters chatting it up in my head. That's a downfall of writing a story centered around one character but affecting so many different characters. It's centered around Emily (more on her shortly) but it is more about how she affects, changes, or doesn't change (who knows... I'm not even sure) the world around her. I hear Emily most of the time, but there are many other active characters in the story. There are multiple POVs throughout the series other than hers, including Jake, Hayden, Hiero, Andrew, and Micah. Wow! I didn't know about that last one until I just typed it. How fun is that?! But lately, it's been the smaller characters who just want to chit chat away. Louisa, Gatlin, and Henry for starters. They are a HUGE part of this story, but it's never told specifically from their POV. That doesn't mean they don't want to be heard. That's part of the beauty of creating. Telling someone's story through the eyes of someone else. You might be thinking, "Why not just write in third person?" Well, I could answer that question in detail but that would give away too much. Let's just say... it's impossible to have the impact that is needed if the story is written in third.
Other than the characters of that specific project, another voice has crept in. It doesn't belong to that story. It has a story all of its own. I think it is a one book story too. Though, I never know until I start writing down my ideas. For now, I know the name of another character but not the character who's POV it is coming from... the object of affection's name is Coy. Over and over... I should probably start jotting ideas and comments down soon. I'd hate to lose a perfectly good story because I didn't want to pay attention.
Anyway... that's what my mind/imagination sounds like. No wonder people think artists are mad.
Now... onto the real reason I'm writing this post... Emily. Well, more importantly... what Emily means to me.
I have two characters that I feel are extensions of myself. Any actor knows what that feels like. If you've ever heard on actor talk about having a difficult time letting a certain character go, you might understand what I mean by this.
One is Kait. Kait is an experimental character. She has existed for years. Her story is ever-changing, ever-evolving. She's your ordinary girl. She began as a character in a short play I had to write for my Dramatic Structure class my sophomore year of college. Then, she took on another life in a musical I've been working on for nearly 5 years. It started as a sort of catharsis, but nothing ever came of it. It remains a challenge even now. To me, Kait is my weakness. Not just in the fact that I cannot seem to write her story, but also because she has my weaknesses but tenfold. The things I have overcome, she cannot bare to face. She's a representation of my darkest moments, but I adore her. The problem with Kait is that the characters in her story seem to be more important to her than she is. I haven't found a way to fix that, but I have a feeling it is one of those "Sarah... look inside yourself" moments. Anyone who has ever been too trusting, too forgiving, or too caring can understand that feeling.
Emily, on the other hand, is not only my muse (yes, I understand she is fictional) but everything I'd want to be. I'm not kidding. Emily is... well, that might give away too much. Emily was born out of an idea that I wanted to read a book series about a _______ type character. Did you really think I would give that away?! Honestly?! Immediately, the name Emily popped into my head. It's very fitting and if I ever publish the series I might explain why, but for now just know that it makes sense in many, many ways. One of those ways is the fact that my mother wanted to name me Emily. It was my favorite name as a child. (These aren't really the reasons it is so fitting, but alas.) Emily is almost everything I'd ever want to be. Her lifestyle is completely unlike my own, but I find it inspiring. She's fit and healthy and beautiful. She's a masterpiece. Of course, I would say that because I created her, but I think she's remarkable.
I've been inspired by my own fictional character to better myself. When I'm eating healthy and being active, I feel better... not only about myself, but about my ability to connect to her. Anyone can write a story. Anyone can create a character, but sometimes that character helps you realize your own potential. I think that happens because we dream up these characters. If I can dream it, I can be it... Right? It's so simple and childlike... but it helps me. Artists... whether they be painters, writers, actors, dancers, singers... create because they have to. It's hardwired into us. This idea of creating something beautiful or thought-provoking or terrifying or whatever is within us. We can do nothing else. So, we tell stories. Honestly, story-telling is just human nature. It's how we learn and grow... and sometimes we inspire others, but sometimes we inspire ourselves.