I guess this is a spoiler alert. However, by the time I edit this crazy draft, find & get an agent, then with some luck have it published you would have forgotten any of this. Why? Because I’m very sure it will be many years from now that any of this will happen LOL!!!
During a recent NaNoWriMo write-in I met a fellow writer who asked me why was I going to kill my main character. In so many words she asked if I was killing him because he was a ‘bad’ person.
I smiled inside because it couldn’t be further from the truth. He is a ‘good’ person, a man deserving love and a happy life, but in this case not an ending one would expect or want in a story for their main character. Sometimes things are too broken to be fixed.
Life and the choices we make as individuals often leads us down a path to the inevitable, in this case death. My character’s hurt has corrupted their ability make the change needed to do more than survive—to truly live. Allowing the pain to be the only thing that defines them. It may sound harsh, perhaps it is, but it is the one truth I know in the story’s outcome I created.
I’ve spent a good portion of my life meeting all types of people from all walks- off the beaten path so to say. As a psych major, I choose a field of study that would help give me the tools needed to empower individuals enough to help them make the choices that would improve their own lives. This lead to a 12 year chosen career path as a counselor to teens, parents, alcoholics, heroin addicts, and HIV/AIDS patients. In that time, even as I looked at my own life, I began to understand there comes a point in a person’s life where the window for change becomes narrower and narrower.
Once a person passes that “Fork in the Road” and neglected to make the proverbial correct turn,
- not taking that Leap of Faith and trusting even when others had shown them otherwise,
- not embracing the love they found in a place they weren’t expecting,
- not leaving the job that has caused them more misery than the security it provided,
- not leaving that relationship,
- saying No instead of Yes,
- saying Yes instead of always No.
If we didn’t step into the unknown rather than settle for the familiar, it can become too late, as in the instance of my character’s story arc.
We are creatures of habit and within that there is a layer of fear of the unfamiliar and unknown. I believe this fear leaves us in the soppy mess that we often find ourselves in. A dirty, unhappy but very comfortable place. Why? Because this is what we know, what we are familiar with—it therefore becomes the only truth we believe in, because anything else, anything better, is not possible or to be lived by others.
By no means am I trying to simplify our lives and say that we are filled with a multitude of choices by which we always turn a blind eye to. What I do believe is that there is always a moment in our lives, however small or large that we do have an opportunity to choose; a decision that can either let the door crack open just enough to let the breeze in or simply see and experience something different.
I am not an blind optimist but I am always hopeful. Innately, I have always been a person that listened and cared when others don’t. I’ve often been let down or consumed with the pain of others—of individuals when they themselves don’t seem to be aware of or want to think about what they actually might be facing. Even with this, I remain ever hopeful.
Within the story I’ve created, it is my hope through witnessing my protagonist’s death the ones closest to him will value life and learn the lessons that needed to be learned. I see the main character of my story as the visionary—the poet and the one that needs to die.
I think it was said best by Michael Cunningham in his book The Hours–
“Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more. It’s contrast” – Virgina Wolf