I was plugging away at my WIP (work in progress) the other night and got broadsided by the realization that my poor heroine was getting harped on for having a particular character trait that was none other than … my own?!
Yikes. And it wasn’t the kind of trait you really want to have.
See, she was getting called out for trying too hard to make everyone else happy. And while my co-workers likely wouldn’t agree I do that, those closest to me probably will. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind taking charge, plugging ahead to get things done. But sometimes when faced with difficult personal matters, I’ve been known to go out of my way to, well, keep the peace.
And sometimes that comes back to bite me later.
Funny, though, that I didn’t realize I was doing it until I dragged my heroine through the same scenario. In fact, without realizing it, that’s the main flaw she’ll work to overcome in my latest book (ooo, and y’all are gonna love this one…especially Dorinda…).
“Therapy through writing”, a good friend of mine pointed out when I shared this with her. I’d been warned it would happen, that sometimes as writers we have to dig deep. Face the realization and charge on through. I just didn’t think I’d have to face the music so soon.
As if to emphasize the point, the very next day I was listening to the radio and Sara Bareilles’ new song “Brave” came on. (By the way, if you haven’t discovered her yet, you’re seriously missing out.) I’d already downloaded it, but until that moment I hadn’t really taken the time to appreciate the lyrics. This time, they did.
“…Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave…”
“Brave” by Sara Bareilles
Can you say “double-whammy”?
So the challenge that lies before me now is this: now that I’ve identified this flaw of mine, what am I willing to do to correct it?
I can only hope that I’m as strong as my heroine, and learn to say what needs to be said…honestly.