The thing about memories is that they aren't all warm and fuzzy. Some of them we'd rather forget. Some of them we can't forget. Maybe it something that was done to us, something that wasn't our fault. Or maybe it's something we did. Often we try to hide those memories from others. We feel ashamed, scared. Or maybe these memories just speak too directly about our hearts, leaving us vulnerable. Maybe they make us hurt.
Do your characters have any secrets?
I set my WIP aside recently in order to edit (again) the novel I completed last Christmas. At first I wasn't too excited about this prospect because I didn't want to discover just how much work my story needed--or worse, that now with more space between me and the novel, I'd find that it wasn't any good. But my time with this story has been so sweet, even when mentally tiring. It's like re-uniting with an old friend. I loved this novel. I still do. So being able to re-enter that world, to rewrite things and to meet the characters again has filled me with unexpected joy.
One of my characters knows all too well the devastating power of a long kept secret. And like many who've chosen to remain silent, she's found that the consequences have only increased as the years have gone by. The price of her silence is great; she fears that it is more than she can pay. Yet if she doesn't speak, healing is impossible. If her secret stays hidden, those most important to her will suffer. There will be tremendous grief and--just to make it seem very epic--all will be lost.
It's not fun to think about painful things. I made light of it on Tuesday, laughing about injuries. Sometimes laughter does help. Talking about it does too. Telling those we love the truth can help make us feel safe again. It's then we realize that all is not lost.
It's like Jesus says in John 8: "And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free". Freedom cannot exist in lies. And even if it isn't a lie--if it's just something so painful we can't bare to speak of it and would give anything just to make it disappear--we still need to break the silence. Healing cannot come from keeping things bottled up, even if it's something we don't want others to know.
But it can be so scary to tell the truth, to reveal that vulnerable part of ourselves.
Sometimes remembering isn't fun. But we need to do it. And the great thing is that once light has come, there is no place for darkness. Speaking the truth about what happened can diminish its power.
Do your characters need to remember? Do you? May we all--real life writers and the characters in our heads--find the courage to do so.
Thanks for the well wishes for my back! It's still a little twingy as I write this (Wednesday night), but not near as bad as it was!
7 hours ago