So yesterday, I was working through some particularly tough scenes.
Actually, this one particularly tough scene.
First off, I want to describe my main character.
I personally don’t think she’s particularly strong or feisty like many YA heroines that I love and adore. She’s not too dramatic or unique, either. She’s quiet. Where another character deviates from the rules and talks back, she keeps her mouth shut. She’s a little broken inside, from something that happened to her a long time ago.
And then this thing, this circumstance comes back to haunt her. I can’t really say what it is at the moment, but it is something that once took her family from her and now again–after she thinks she’s escaped from that, it comes back and again, it forces her in turmoil and begins to take everything she has gained.
What does she do, now that she’s forced to face her inner demons? She has no choice but to become strong. She doesn’t instantly transform into a kick-butt heroine–it takes a long time for her to find herself again.
I was writing the scene yesterday, when literally, everyone, everyone she loves is gone and what she holds dear is completely destroyed.
And–for the first time, ever, I broke down and cried.
I’ve been writing for quite a while–and this book, especially. I have devoted more time and energy than I ever have to any other book I’ve worked on.
But–I never cry in books. I cry in movies, but words rarely move me to the point of tears. I have always experienced this sort of detachment with my characters. In the back of my mind, at the end of the day, they lived on the page. For the longest time, I obsessed over the plot and the inner workings of the premise and didn’t devote enough heart to my characters.
Yesterday, for a long moment, I finally actually felt the main character’s pain. I don’t want to sound cheesy or melodramatic. It was perhaps the darkest scene in the book, where she hits rock bottom and she can no longer swallow her anger or hide her emotions behind her face.
I think–for me, it was a sign of victory, of reaching the point where finally, I cared about the people I created enough to see the world through their eyes and reach their fictional hearts, and cry for them. It has taken me years to reach this point of writing, and I realize that no matter what happens to this book, it has certainly taken me to the next level of writing and given me an experience I won’t, and can’t, forget.