So I've run into a bit of a snag. The post-dead story's main character is, well, me, with some minor differences. Which brings up the question: how do I make character development happen on Me when I'm not sure why I am the way I am?
Intelligent. Observant. Vulgar. Apathetic. "Metal." These were words used to describe my main character. I don't doubt that I have all of these aspects. But I don't particularly recall being any other way. Except for maybe the Vulgar part. That developed...probably around college. And then I've promptly spiraled off into my personal identity crisis. Don't look myself in the eye in the mirror, might not recognize who is staring back. And if I did, would it be me?
I've been trying to write a character who would react how I react. Do I think too highly of myself? It's not necessarily that I keep a level head in a crisis; more like the part that freaks out is sent to cry in a corner and leaves the analytic part of the brain to try to figure out how to deal with the situation. Then the part that freaks out comes back and makes my mental state messy at random inconvenient times. It's embarrassing to start leaking liquid when I really just want to get through my work day.
I've come to realize that what seems like logical ways to deal with situations may not come off to other people as realistic. I think I haven't effectively communicated the actual mental state of the character, which is basically frozen. Going to go back and try to weave in some mention of vulnerability, of an unwillingness to actually deal with the world as it is occurring.
I also like Toranel (the guide) better than myself, but isn't that generally the case - sidekicks are more interesting people? Although Toranel has her own story, so she's not really a sidekick. I'm trying for "each person's a champion in their own story," because I think that's how it is in real life. This whole scenario is my personal challenge - can I make two stories about people in the same situation and make them both come off as the main character/hero in their own stories while they aren't necessarily in the other person's?
I think I freak out when I attempt to analyze myself. I'm not sure how I've changed, exactly. Sure, some core beliefs have changed, but do beliefs necessarily encompass the whole of the person? I'm still reluctant to talk around strangers, and even when I get to know a group of people, I shield myself automatically behind a wall of witty reactions and sarcastic comments. Do people know, in my casual encounters, that my "Joking level: mild" is stuck on? Would it matter if they did?
I guess it comes down to this: I don't really know myself. I am a random assortment of cells attempting to keep the world crushing me to a pancake on the outside while holding back the darkness fighting to break out on the inside. Can't let myself be defined by the inside, because the world's a horrible place in there, and can't let the outside do all the defining, or I'm just a very lumpy little rock with a fistful of failures that tests software , and that's a sorry sort of world as well.
Well, at some point this went from random ramblings to churn out a wordcount to a blog post. And that's enough of me sloshing my emotions out onto the internet for today. And don't worry about me, I'm going to wave at this episodic freak-out as it goes by. They usually do. In the meantime, there's a world to observe, and I'm going to do it.