So I’ve been plotting, in between the various books I’ve read over the last 5 weeks. Trying too see how to do it, how to develop characters that are full enough to complete my own insatiable needs. I am, first and foremost, an addict, though not in the conventional sense. I am an addict of stories, of themes, of ideas, of individual beings, I need these things to feel complete. The lesser laws of writing do not concern me as much, grammar being a crutch that I refuse to carry and a lesson I refuse to learn. It is an ignorance I think more existent because of fear than resources, I actually worry that being too methodical in my writing would take away from that emotion I need.
Maybe I’m wrong? I would be shocked if I wasn’t actually. But my concern now is more of the journey, of where my characters will go and who they will be. What do I want them to become, why should they become what they become, and how should they become who they become? There is a level of love I must put into these characters, otherwise I would be committing an act no less grievous than murder. Which brings me back to my addiction, a most problematic existence I have when it comes to fictional universes. For me the longer they exist, the harder it is for me to lose them. I watch as in a single batch of words, that final sentence, murders the lives of each and every character that exists in that universe.
You might say to yourself, they still exist in my mind, in my heart, or some other sweet words that would be in a movie carried on by a soft orchestral piece but this is impossible for me to comprehend. Would we, humans, have ever existed if all details of our existence were obliterated? If we never escape the Earth and our sun swallows us like a psychotic parent, will we have ever truly been? A trillion existences could come and go after we are gone, if nothing is left to show for us, we will never be on their minds. There will be no words of the great Human Wars, their inexplicable prejudices, or their capacity to survive. Our good and our bad will vanish the very second all proof of our existence vanishes. Even now, as you read this, you may think to yourself that we will live on in spirit. But that very thought is coming because you now exist, once you are gone everything exists only in memoriam. This, this is how I feel when every story I read ends.
When characters have been made to be believable, loved, hated, misunderstood, or even uncomfortably hollow I find that their existence cannot have an end. Yet they do, those final words, that happy or sad ending, leaves me with a twitch in my mind and a cold feeling in my core. Everyone I had known for those days, or weeks, months, or years is now gone. As if a massive bomb had vanquished the life of tens, hundreds, thousands, or millions of my friends. I walk into every story like most people walk into a family pet, purchasing a future tragedy in hopes that the memories you will carry along the way will make up for it. But to me, they only compound the pain, make it greater than it could have been.
An example of which is when a family member dies, if you never met them, never spoke, had no idea of their traits. You will find, at least most people do, that their death doesn’t really move you. It might hurt because it hurts those close to you, but a direct connection is not made. Because you never shared a part of your emotions with that character you do not suffer from their ceased existence. It is those happy moments that come before the tragedy that make it all the greater and all the more painful.
I applaud bad writers for one thing, they never hurt me, I may lose some time in my life to their terrible writing. But I have never lose a piece of myself. They do not construct a planet in the universe of my mind only to drop it along the event horizon of a black hole, they merely give me a text to read. Like you read these ramblings, by the end you will not feel hollow, you will not have lost. It is merely facts, data, a series of points that do lead to an end but bring with them no true emotions. Perhaps some week, planned ones, but nothing you will remember in a years time.
So I have decided that I will not do the same, in some manner or another, I shall give my characters a continued existence. At least for as long as I, myself, do exist. After that I can only hope we have erected a system of data storage that is replicating and nigh indestructible, though seeing as I’ll in theory be dead I suppose I won’t really care. Unless I’ve been very wrong about a few things, but that is a topic for another day.
Back to work, this was an enjoyable ramble during my lunch break.