#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bring the Rain

Every story has it's fit, it's theme, it's rhythm. For the past week I've felt Twisted Metal was off-beat. Hitting a wrong note, as it were. I couldn't find the right tone for this second section.

The FMC, Roan, has left one life behind, mourned over the dead body of the only person who ever knew her real name, and effectively buried her past under paperwork and lies. She's starting over, letting go, and trying to move on.

Throughout this section Roan is maturing, changing. But as the writer I'm tempted to hamper her. She may feel carefree, but I know what's around the corner. I know about the lies that crumble. And the past that haunts her. Finding the balance between the right tone for the character, and the right tone for the whole novel, can be hard at this point. It's tempting to give in and tell the reader flat out, "By the way, don't get to attached to Character X."

Then I heard Jo Dee Messina singing Bring on the Rain. Perfect!

"I might be barely breathing/But I'm not dead."

That's Roan. Survival is the running theme through this novel. Survival, and endurance, and an element of forgiveness. How far can a person push themself before they can't forgive themself? How far can you push another person, before they walk away? How many times can you walk away from love, and still have love come back for you?

My heart bleeds for the MMC. By the end of the book that boy's been amused so many times I'm amazed he's standing. Roan has it worse. For every wound she inflicts, she cuts herself. I'm fascinated by how much this character can hurt herself, all the while rationalizing her actions.

And I wonder how much of myself bleeds into these characters. Am I that cruel to myself? Sometimes, I suppose. There are days I set an impossible standard for myself. Perhaps that's part of creation, crying when your characters weep. Curling inwards when they're beaten. Rejoicing as they finally find the love they've been denying.

... And I as I was writing this DH came in crying that the SGT Major died. After a panicked moment I realized he meant in the SGT Major in the book series we've been reading together. I finished the last book a few weeks ago, and cried.

It really is heart-wrenching to lose a character you love. One day, I hope someone can say my work made them cry, and laugh, and walk away in love with the whole world.

P.S. I will add that the double meaning of "Bring the Rain," referring to both the song and the military term for aerial fire support thrills me. I think it's perfect for a novel that both opens and closes on a military post. Thank you to Urban Grounds for the enlightening article on the AC-130 gunship. And thank you to Ranger Up for the t-shirt design.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I had never heard anything by that particular young woman, but all I can say is "Wow". I also hear echoes of stories woven within the words, stories that particular song would bring out in me. Very nice.