“A writer is a world trapped inside a person.” —Victor Hugo
I live in my stories and they live in me. That sentence right there is a super important concept for me.
The stories I have written over the years have become my own. If I ever feel down for whatever reason, I remember that, and it fills with me gratitude. I remember I can live in those lives I created, next to those characters I introduced.
Yes, I’m aware it sounds super lame. But as lame as it is, I know the characters I created and the towns I’ve grown through my writing are mine. I’ve spent days in the small Southern town from In the Sky and the Caribbean islands from Unattainable Reality. (My second novel, in case you’re lost.)
The characters I’ve created are strong, powerful. My characters are friends, lovers, football players, robots, zombies, aliens. They were first based upon people in my real life, but now they are their own. They are some of my favorite people in the world.
I’ve written poems about them. I’ve made music playlists about them. They’ve become as much a part of my life as my reality.
Part of my poem, “Many Worlds” is based upon this idea:
If you looked through me
You wouldn’t see much
Except made-up characters—
An island, a carnival, New York.
You’d see a zombie apocalypse:
Me with blood on my face and a
Pitchfork, screaming through the
Dead city, my city… “Brenna, really?”
You may think I’m crazy. But these stories are as much my own as the story of how I met my boyfriend or graduated middle school. (Go Knights.)
These stories emerged in dreams; they floated across my head and became real.
I fantasized about them on the bus on the way to class; I spent way more time in their worlds than mine at points. They are as much mine as anything else.
When it comes to favorite characters, one of my favorites I’ve ever written is Dylan Owen from In the Sky. He wasn’t based off of anyone in particular; I just loved the idea of having a big macho football player as the sensitive best friend of the protagonist. Maybe I watched too much Teen Wolf, who knows. Either way, he became so much more as I was writing him. By the end of the story, a part of me wanted her to even end up with him. I fell for him as a person that much.
“I was flying. I would say I felt like a bird, but I wasn’t that graceful. I was more like an awkward airplane, crashing into the pole-vaulting mat and being splashed with muddy lukewarm water. Leaves stuck to my balmy skin, and I was groaning but also dying laughing. Dylan fell onto the mat beside me, sending another tidal wave of mud and rainwater in my direction. I turned to him and couldn’t stop smiling.”
In the Sky
As you can see, my stories are a part of me. A gigantic part. I can’t separate myself from them, can’t stop living in their worlds. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you?