I hesitated to post this, since it’s much more woo than normal.
Have you ever had an idea come to life? I mean, really…not figuratively, literally. If you’re a writer of fiction, you’re probably (dare I say “certainly”?) aware of this phenomenon. The people on the page start talking to you, and doing things you don’t want them to do, and for some reason you can’t tell them no.
I make stories. It’s what I do. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. I’ve been trying to write them for probably twenty years or so, maybe a little more. That’s honestly the vast bulk of my life, since I’m not yet thirty years old (will be sooner than I’d like, though). I began to have success with these stories when I was about twelve (I think). That’s when I created the character Aurora, or Rory.
Rory was an OC, even though I was writing fanfiction fairly closely based on a popular anime. She was supposed to be like me: unpopular but loyal to her (very) few friends, irritable but always quick with a joke. But…that’s not what happened when I started actually writing her. She trotted onto the page shy and anxious, without a mean bone in her body, and dead serious.
As I grew older, I lost interest in anime, but not in writing, or in Rory…excuse me. Aurora. I continued writing with her through my teenage years, creating my own world for her, and a fantasy boyfriend for both of us to obsess over. She was pretty docile , and did whatever I told her to do. As a consequence, the stories absolutely sucked.
I must have been eighteen or nineteen when I finally got serious about writing her. I renamed her Joren, and started a novel I called Queen of Hearts. It was a pretty cliched epic fantasy, so it was going to start with some episodes from Joren’s childhood.
That’s when she broke away from me. Joren became truly real in a way that Rory and Aurora just weren’t. The intended “episode” became fifteen chapters. They went around in circles. They made no sense. The plot went nowhere. But…they were fucking awesome. Everyone I showed them to loved them. They were dark. They were brooding. They scared the shit out of people.
I still write with Joren, just to work with her. She helps me feel things I don’t normally let myself feel, and she also helps me resolve those feelings that I keep locked inside. She’s worth it. I’m worth it.