“you’re a lingering attachment in my heart”

Mom and I were having a talk the other day about Monster. She really likes it; however, she sees that it is necessarily quite dark and far more intense than anything I’ve previously written. I knew it would be dark when I first sat down to write it, and usually if I know a story idea is darker than I’m used to, I don’t go ahead with it. But this one was backed by a lot of prayer and I never once felt reservations about writing it.

I knew Mir’s story had to be told, because I knew it would be important. I knew it would affect lives, and it already has. In short, I knew God wanted me to write it.

I knew – still know – that it needs to be written, that stepping back and opting for something easier isn’t an option. This book has been incredibly difficult to write at times. Not in the ‘I don’t know what to write’ way, but in the ‘my soul is bleeding’ way. I became so attached to this story, so attached to Mir, that there were several scenes that I physically almost couldn’t take it. I know it sounds crazy, but I wouldn’t lie to you.

Mir, as a character, has done something to me that no other character – not even Eristor or Simon or Brand or anyone – has done to me. Do I love them? Yes. Do we argue? Yes. Do I sometimes get so frustrated with them that I feel like throwing in the proverbial towel and putting them in time-out? Yes. All of them, at one point, have annoyed me.

Except Mir. As I wrote him, something strange happened – beneath his fury and terror and blind madness at the beginning of the book, I knew that I was creating a good character. But wait, don’t I think Eristor and Simon and Brand are good characters too?

Well, yes. I wrote them, after all.

That’s not the kind of good I meant. I mean the kind of good that is willing to trust someone when they’ve never been given any reason to trust anyone. Ever. I mean the kind of good that sees a glimmer of hope and holds onto it, wants to share it, and won’t let go. The kind of good that I’m not. Mir has influenced me, when I thought it would be the other way around. Does Mir have problems? More than I ever hope to properly count.

But his childlike innocence, his faith when there is nothing to believe in, his innate struggle to do the right thing even though he’s never been told wrong from right, have really opened my eyes to some flaws in my own life. Anyone in my family will tell you that there are times while writing Monster that I’ve been a monster myself (but not a loveable one). I didn’t really like learning all the bad things about myself; having them held up against my own character, a literary mirror to my flaws.

He’s deep, Mir. He says things even I hadn’t thought about, and he thinks even more. He’s special, and the closer I get to ending this book – scarily close – the more loathed I am to let him go. Part of me is relieved. “Move on to something easier,” it says. And then I laugh and say “Cayne isn’t going to be any easier.” The bigger part of me, though, wants to grab onto Mir and hold him tight and never let go because the thought that once I finish this book I’ll be through with his story is almost too much to bear.

So I try not to think about it as I sit down at the keyboard, pull up his story, and near the closing point. He’ll forgive me, I know. It’s the sort of person he is. This sounds like a farewell letter, even though he isn’t gone yet. Not quite. And so, as insane as it sounds –

Thank you, Mir. You’ve taught me to be a better person. Whether I use what you’ve taught me…well, I’ll do my best. I tend to have trouble with that. I’m going to miss you. I’m going to miss you so hard it hurts. You’ve been wonderful.

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33 thoughts on ““you’re a lingering attachment in my heart”

  1. You know, I’ve never felt that way about a character I’ve created? Other characters, yes. Right now I’m adding GrimJack into my ‘hall of heroes’ beside Sandfly and HardCandy from Kerry Nietz’ Dark Trench Saga. But my paper tigers? Not so much. Interesting.

    • Really? GrimJack… I haven’t read him, but now I may have to…
      and honestly, I hadn’t felt this way about any character up till Mir. And I have the feeling I’m going to feel pretty similarly about Cayen…I think I’ve entangled myself even deeper in this whole writing thing. O_e

    • *gapes* Well, Una…um…I’m not ON Pinterest O_O So I’m not sure how a board for Face Value would show up. What’s the username!? O_O And the age level is teens; you know – 13 to 18, probably 🙂 I love it; it isn’t finished, but you could read what I’ve got if you want.

  2. Sorry if I worried you for a minute: you’re co authoring Face Value with someone who’s username on Pinterest is Heather Titus, right? I checked it again(I had looked at it in, like, July, and seen it.) I just noticed it said co-author on the board. Yes, I’d love to read what you’ve got, if you’re sure it’s okay. Do you want my email address or something?

    • Oh, yes – well, actually the story was just called ‘Face.’ ‘Face Value’ is another story I’m working on; hence the confusion XD Do you want to read ‘Face’ or ‘Face Value?’ And yeah, your email address would be fantastic =)

  3. Wow, this really really really makes me want to read “Monster” when it’s done. I felt emotional just reading your post about your characters emotions. This book will make me cry something fierce! 😀

  4. You’ve done an excellent job with his character, and I can see why you’ve enjoyed writing him so much 🙂 I think that this story is definitely the most ethically powerful story you’ve written to this point. God is doing some amazing things through your writing; keep it up 🙂

  5. I’m pretty sure I mean Face. That one has the fae gangs, right? If so, I mean that one. I’m going to email you at the-shieldmaiden(at)hotmail(dot)com with my email with my email. Thanks!

  6. This is such a beautiful post. I’m going through *almost* the same thing you’re going through. I’m preparing myself to say goodbye to a character that I know I’ll miss dearly. S/He’s become a part of me – a friend, if you will.
    I do look forward to reading Monster, though I honestly have no clue what it’s about. What I’ve heard about it between Facebook and blog posts has sparked an intrigue in me! Can’t wait to see it published.

    • Oh, preparing to say good-bye to a character….I can definitely relate to that, although I almost wish I couldn’t 😛 Thank you for your encouragement, and I wish you the best of luck (and the least amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth) when the time comes to part with your character.

  7. I know I don’t respond to each half a chapter you email me. But every time I get a new installment I get so excited to see more of Mir and Eva and Pocky and everyone else :). And each time I get to the end of that installment it’s a disappointment not to have more to read. You’re honestly an inspiration to me, Mirriam.I don’t want Monster to end either, I’ve grown to love Mir too, and I think he may just about be my favorite character that you’ve ever written… and… he *is* getting a happy ending isn’t he? :’-\

    • I’m so glad to hear that, Monica. *hugs warm fuzzies to self* All my readers are inspiration to me. They’re my friends and critiquers and encouragers and I don’t know where I’d be without them – probably in a hole somewhere. With spiders. And as for the ending…well, I can’t spill details, but I know how it ends and I hope, however you take it, that it counts as a good ending to the best story I’ve ever bled.

  8. Lovely post, Mirriam =) I’m actually having that same feeling-ish with my most recent brain child, Echo. ‘Cept she’s Mir’s exact opposite, and refuses to trust anyone, which is becoming a really big pain in my rear… *sigh* XD

    A rather belated comment… it’s good to have you online again! I’ve missed your regular posts =D

  9. I loved this post Mirriam it was so beautiful. I feel exactly the same way about Zara/Warren. They have both taught me so many lessons and I am going to be terribly sad when I am finally finished telling their story.

    • I’m so glad you liked it =) I’m writing in Monster right now and it’s going really well, but gads, it’s hard!! I know I’m going to have some post-completion depression issues XD

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