Tonight, I realized just how alike my protagonist and I are.
In writing this scene where Damen meets Dana, I started thinking about my own time in high school and how much I hated it. I wanted to leave so badly, but my mother wouldn’t let me graduate after my Junior year and so I was forced to suffer another year in that place, with “those people.” As I thought about “those people,” I remembered that not a week goes by that I’m not friending another one of them on Facebook, though we’ve got nothing in particular to say to each other, which lead to me one of my more recent Facebook Friends. She and I were super BFFs back in our middle school days and as I considered how different she looks now in her FB pictures with her children, I remembered how, more than a decade ago, I drew her portrait in art class and she drew mine since, again, we were super BFFs. I then remembered that I used to draw portraits all the time of random people. Some faces just popped to mind, while others were of people who I may have seen earlier or just liked the way their eyes looked…and that’s when I said to myself, “Oh snap! I’m just like Damen.”
There really are few things that are new under the sun and no idea is truly original. Damen’s love of books…I’m a long-time bibliophile and even though I read the majority of my books via Kindle, I love the feel and smell of all my books, especially the incredibly worn ones. Damen’s hatred of his peers…well, I’ve already touched upon that a bit. Damen’s drawings…it was not until tonight that I even remembered how often I used to draw portraits and how much I liked doing them. The most intriguing thing about all of them were the eyes. Big eyes have always been a great sign of beauty for me, so almost all of my characters whom I deem pretty or attractive are described as having “large eyes” and, when I used to draw, all my portraits would have over-sized eyes. I still see this now when I make new sims for Sims 2. My most beautiful sims are the ones with the largest eyes. I was so intrigued with eyes that I used to sketch them at random; often the eyes of celebrities, but later, it was whenever I saw a pair of eyes that just looked so magnificent, I had just had to draw them. It’s simply fascinating that my protagonist can be so unlike me in general demeanor and appearance, but be exactly like me in so many other mannerisms that make me who I am.
I realized a while ago when I was first writing Damen that I couldn’t actually “see” him as a character. I knew that he was white and that his mother had married a black man and that he was a bit cold to his peers, but I could “see” nothing else and even wrote a note to myself about how I didn’t know who I was writing. It was not until I gave Damen a piece of my own spirit and personality that he began to take shape for me. At the time, I thought I had just given him my sarcasm, but now I’ve realized I’ve given him so much more.
I wrote 773 words tonight (his body as she turned down the hall.) and I can’t wait to write a little bit more. I figure at this rate Damen and I will be nearly the same person by the end of the novel.