The darkness that lurks in the corners of my heart takes form in my more evil characters, and the impulses I notice enough to give them shape but do not choose to act upon evolves into villains’ motives and schemes.
The errant thought that the maker chooses to discard can become a driving force, a modus operandi, if allowed to incubate in the fertile grounds of a creation’s less fettered mind.
The moments of heroism I like to think I would perform if need arose, the courage I’ve made myself bring to life’s challenges, and the skills and intelligence I’ve worked so hard to hone shine through in the scenes where the characters rise up and triumph, or even when they simply bring their best selves to a situation where they could have done far worse.
The moral dilemmas, the shades of grey, the situations where there may not be an answer that everyone finds right... the trials of life, and the mistaken conclusions that a child naturally draws... These are the seeds from which the best plots and personalities seem to grow, the tangled threads I can pick from the spiderweb of my own mind to weave the tapestry of a fictional person’s soul.
Have you ever felt like that?
Have you ever written a story or essay, composed a piece of music, or drawn a picture, and felt like you’d given a full, fleshed-out shape to a fragment of yourself? Have you ever found that your own mood bleeds into the characters, notes and lines?
Sometimes that happens to me. There have been times when I’ve written a scene where the characters are hungry or exhausted, and only when I’m halfway through do I realize that I myself am tired or in need of food. I was projecting myself into them so completely that I forgot to pay attention to the body that carries my mind.
But I suppose that’s when I do my best work. When I’m not writing a character who exists only on the screen, but am instead giving voice to the part of myself that they came from, letting that bit of me have a personality all its own and pass through circumstances that the rest of me has never experienced.
Have you ever had a moment like that? I’d love to hear about it. You’re welcome to comment and share your experience with your fellow Fiction Fans.