Friday, May 22, 2015

Just. Keep. Writing.

Spent a few hours two nights ago writing down the differences between me and each of my characters. I also wrote the differences between my real-life story and the novel. The novel is basically the result of the old "What if" question that many novelists start with. I like to describe my novel as "If my life were a piece of paper and I folded the corners of the paper together, the part where the corners meet is my novel." It's like putting many different aspects of my life and seeing how they work out.

There is a bit of me in each character. Evelyn and I are both living multiple lives. Gerald and I are both secretive. The villain and I are both sarcastic. Still, there are these parts of them that make them who they are. Evelyn is far more fearless than me. Gerald is far more intelligent than me. And the villain ... well, I had great difficulty with the villain. He is a side of me that keeps doing everything that I avoid doing, and he's enjoying it. Like, totally.

I always knew that the story is just way ahead of me. That's why I waited two years just to finish it. Last April, I was thinking, "Can I wait another three years, please?" As of this moment, I just finished talking to two friends about the aspects of it that are so complicated. Sometimes, when you open up and just tell a friend exactly how you feel, they see what you can't see. This good friend said that I'm simply scared of my own novel, just like many other novelists out there. My other friend and I still can't figure out the real inspiration behind my villain.

Writers like me live with our characters. Well, you know, the most fun thing about Camp NaNoWriMo is getting to talk with fellow writers and discuss things that only us know about. It's hard to discuss these topics with other people. But just to say it exactly as it is, I keep many different characters inside my head. With every person I meet and every moment I get into, a new character is added. I go back to these characters whenever I need to write a story, just like a cook looking for ingredients. Evelyn came along only early this 2015. She replaced the original protagonist of the novel, Annika. Gerald is the oldest. He was in the comics that I liked to draw when I was 5-years-old. The origins of my villain are still mysterious because I just can't recall exactly when and how I got the idea for him, but my earliest memory of him was back in 1999.

They keep changing ages, names, and occupations in each of my stories, but they rarely change appearance. Gerald used to be named Gary. The villain used to be named Leonardo, inspired by da Vinci. They both used to be little boys, but in this novel, they're around 30. Evelyn is in her early 20s.

Whatever inspired these characters and no matter how I fear what the novel has turned into, I should just keep writing. Period. (I'm rewriting the first half to make it more vivid. Photo credit: me)
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