Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Characters that demand their stories to be written

When I was 14 I wrote a short story called "Arielle", it was written in the first person and unsurprisingly about a girl called Arielle. At the time when I wrote this, I did nothing else, my school homework was ignored and even my computer gaming hobby was ignored, all I did was write her story.

The story was quite simple, Arielle, at the age of 14 was kidnapped for a drug testing laboratory. It was incrediably far fetched, and why they wanted her in particular - I don't know, but the story formed quickly - and Arielle suffered greatly at the hands of a barely trained Doctor, who conducted some quite extreme experiments. The story ended with Arielle making her escape, rescuing a girl called Kerry as she escaped and being helped by the barely trained Doctor (Doctor Marta Edwards) who saw the error of her ways.

All in all, the story had few merits. It was well written (if I do say so myself!) with clear areas of tension, despite having little in the way of a clear plot, it was readable - but it was flawed, too many things were lacking description and reason and while I loved the idea, even at 14 I could see it didn't work.

At the age of 28, I rediscovered Arielle. In the past 14 years, I have written a great many stories, and many times tried to re-write Arielle but never could. I knew she had a story to tell, but until this year - I didn't know what it was. Now I do.

Arielle is the main character in The M.I.M.E Games, my novel. While she is older, being in her early 20s and comes from a very different background, she is quite unchanged. The same spirit and personality exists now as did when I was 14. It feels a bit surreal sometimes as I write about her, at times she feels like an old friend - I've spent 14 years of my life thinking about her, and I now feel almost privileged to be able to write her story.

She's also not the only character from the original to stay. Marta Edwards, the barely capable Doctor has a major role in the new story - she is more capable, but her history shows her flaws. I was never happy with the original Marta, feeling that I was making her seem evil, when at best she was misguided. Now I feel I have the ''real'' Marta, she's screwed up in her life, and she's not the best at what she does, but she's trying to make amends. Kerry also returns. Kerry was at best a minor character in the original, appearing only at the end and only for the purpose of being rescued. But I knew that she was important, even back then, realising that somehow Kerry helped make Arielle who she was, so as not to spoil too much of my story - I can honestly say I am happy with how Kerry turned out, reprising her role with style and presence that the original Kerry never had.

I guess my purpose for this post is to show that sometimes the characters who stay with you, do so for a reason. They have a story to be told, and they aren't going away until you tell it. I have another character, Kalar, who I first wrote about at the age of 13 - I know that I will write her story now, with snippets coming to me unbidden during daydreams. Her story isn't as thrilling as Arielle's, but it is still one I feel I must write - and hopefully, if I can pull off Arielle's and become published, I can share Kalar's story too. ~ Kitty

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