Ever created a story character with bits and pieces of your own life — recycled and rearranged in a way that makes it feel as though that character could be you in a parallel world?
If parallel worlds — or alternate realities — actually existed, I mean (in places other than our heads).
It’s hard not to take what you know now and use it guide your protagonist down a different road.
For those who’ve read those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, it’s like reading what happens as a result of one choice and then going back and making a different one, to see what happens.
But if those characters come to life in our heads, sometimes they do things and say things we don’t think we would have said or done in the same circumstances.
In my story, the protagonist recalls someone from her past when a guide tells her something she needs to know about the character who loves her.
He’s reacted to his family history very differently from the way his only sibling — his brother — reacted. For one thing, he’s still alive.
And that someone from my protagonist’s past? He’s not a part of her life, and he was never meant to be.
After what has just happened, though, the reader is left wondering whether my two main characters will actually end up together, because they’ve hit a roadblock.
And one of them is now in danger. He’s become the target of another character, who had previously targeted the protagonist (unsuccessfully).
That person from her past comes to mind when Maura is questioning what to do next. He’s sort of a mirage in the desert. When Maura opens that door in her mind, though, she’s left disoriented and confused.
Eventually, though, she gets her bearings and the other character helps her with that.
And while she’s still afraid that he’ll come to regret ever meeting her, she knows what she needs to do — or she will, anyway.
She’ll come to realize that, if she belongs anywhere in this world, she belongs with him.
There’s more to the story, and I’m still getting my bearings with it, as I write.
It’s impossible, though, not to let my protagonist’s situation affect me even when I’m not working on my story. It motivates me to help her find her way out of the desert.
Your turn. 🙂
Have you noticed any of your own characters messing with your head?