I thought a fun little post for the blog would be to give some background of characters I’ve created and the creation process for the specific character. I am what is known as a “pantser” meaning that I don’t exactly plan out what I’m writing or who I’m writing. Heck, sometimes I have to write out the same story in different voices because I don’t even have a firm grip on point of view.
So, here is a character I have created, who’s story is posted under Writing.
Character Description: A seventeen year old highschool girl. She has flaming orange hair and dresses gothic/punk. Krista is caucasian, middle class. Her mother is remarried and she has no siblings, she doesn’t know where her father is. She is a frequent rule breaker and has little aspirations for the future beyond a vague notion to travel to New York City. She is sarcastic, pessimistic and angst ridden. She posesses a strong inner core but rarely feels confidence in herself to utilize it, feeling herself a victim to her surroundings and authority.
Inner Conflicts – Krista is trying to sort out who she is in life. She knows what she doesn’t want in some regards but otherwise feels lost, incomplete. She feels abandoned by her mother even though they still live together. She knows she is being abused but cannot reconcile how to make it stop, thinking her only “out” will come when she turns eighteen and can leave home. She’s embarassed by the abuse, is made to feel it is her fault.
External Conflicts – Krista is being sexually abused by her mother’s husband and has been for many years. She holds that part of her life separate from everything else, something that happens in the dark, where no one can see. She works hard to hide the physical evidence. This makes it hard to connect with other people, she has little confidence and lacks social skills, feeling pulled around by circumstances, always having things happen “to” her instead of making things happen.
Where did the character come from? Krista is a little bit of me, a little bit of other’s and a whole lot of victim fantasy. Her story is dark, from that place inside of me that still houses the abuse I sustained as a child. While my own experience happened quite differently, I drew on the feelings and experiences I had. You might almost say, in part, that this is autobiographical and also that it’s completely fiction. And yes, I did have orange hair for a while.
What I wanted this story to say: This was something I felt needed to be let out. I had the thought of Krista many years ago and I think it really helped me express some of the things I was still holding inside. I don’t imagine everyone will enjoy the story, I don’t think it’s very enjoyable frankly. It’s not meant to be. But I think it can possibly allow others that haven’t experienced abuse to get an idea of what the victims deal with as well as connect to other victims, possibly to allow them to share their own fiction stories of a similar nature. Dealing with and writing about abuse is a tough and tricky subject. In this instance I did not want to identify with the abuser. I don’t easily identify with abusers in general in real life. Some of the things Krista dealt with, her internal feelings as well as social experiences, I dealt with on a daily basis. Where you sit next to some one thinking about how your being abused, long to tell them what is happening but at the same time can’t manage to open your mouth to say it. It’s a double edged sword, especially if there is others in your life that you love that will be hurt by your admission.