I love to write. My primary motivation in keeping this enterprise going is enjoying the few hours everyday that I spend writing. Those hours, usually in the dead of the night, are some the most blissful of any day. Writing is my best relaxation, my vacation from life’s everyday-ness. When I get to bed in the wee hours of the morning to catch some shut eye, I am content and almost always at peace.
Yes, note the underlined ‘almost.’
Sometimes, I am not at peace. Like now.
There are times when I hurt so bad that I wish I hadn’t started writing at all. Now is a time like that.
Reason being, I am writing a particularly tough bit of the story.
‘Bit’ is an understatement though, because when a book makes up the protagonist’s toughest challenges, it is more than just a ‘bit.’
Yes, I am at the Abyss/Nadir of a ‘Hero’s Journey’ for Maia.
For those of you that are with me so still, may I draw your attention to a chart from Wikipedia? As you can see, the lowest low of a character arc is at the bottom of the chart below–that is where characters are forged into the steel heroes are made of, that is the most difficult of a character’s ordeals.
That is what I am working on right now, Book 3, the abyss of Maia’s journey where she is thrown into the crucible of transformation.
Isn’t it difficult to read through the pain and the horrors our loved characters go through in the course of a book? Remember being with Harry when Dumbledore died? Oh, the dread–I can still feel a shiver in my spine.
I have to tell you though, it is far more difficult to write about them. Characters are parts of the writer’s soul, and protagonists or not, they often become people you know more closely that you know many real people. Yes, odd, I admit. But, true nevertheless.
So, tormenting a person you care about, however fictitious, is not easy. Of course, you have to make them go through it, because you have to make them better heroes. And of course, the characters do not really bleed or die, right? But wait a minute . . . are you sure they don’t?
Well, before you brand me ‘weird,’ I will stop by saying, it really, truly hurts when you subject your characters to endless pain. Especially when your protagonist is a teenager. It breaks my heart to make Maia go through the turmoil she has to endure to become the hero I want her to be.
I know there is light at the end of the tunnel for Maia, I know she will likely see better days, but for now I weep with her.
Every writing session is an agony, every chapter a new heartbreak. I will be glad to complete Book 3. It will be a solid book, I am sure of that, but I will happy to let it leave my desk.