Thursday, December 10, 2015

An Impossible Loneliness (And A Few Other Rambles)

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A little while ago, I had a post queued up talking about loneliness. It wasn't until it went completely off the rails and I started comparing things to the ocean and waves washing you ashore and the strength of the tide that I realized--oh for fuck's sake, is everything I write going to turn back to Millennium Girl?

(Duh).

When I tried again, I got sidetracked with what's somewhat becoming MG's sister piece, Death Awakens. (Its estranged, convoluted, in desperate need of guidance sister). And that also turned into a mess. Too many excerpts ended up being involved.

Here was the basic starting point of what I was writing--stripped of all bullshit and anecdotes and my own jumbled thoughts: back when I wrote Dream full-time, I used to say her one great fear was an impossible loneliness. Odd little girl that she was, sometimes she genuinely believed that one day she would awaken to find the entire world empty. All other living people would disappear and she would be left all alone. The last person on Earth.

And there was always one way I'd describe it. Whenever I had to write up character profiles or short descriptions of her personality for the benefit of other writers, I'd use that term: an impossible loneliness. Dream's biggest fear.

I've always known there were degrees of loneliness. Some are fleeting, others permanent. Some can be surprisingly pleasant. Others are crippling. Some feel heavy. Others hollow. All but one--solitude, in some people's definitions--are painful. And we know for sure that, in long bursts, it's harmful. Isolate a person long enough and their brain will turn to scrambled eggs.

But I've never been able to properly describe it. Dream's biggest fear was loneliness, but because of the nature of the RPs and all her side stories, she was never alone. Even if people came to hate her, she'd force them to hate her within a five feet radius.

Lilith, I think, fears loneliness too. Companionship is so tightly connected to her survival, such a big reason she's a functioning individual that's lived for so long without going mad, that she finds friendships wherever she goes. She's never alone--even when she hopes she was.

So as I revise Lilith's story, as I think back on Dream's, and as I occasionally type or scribble down a sentence or two for Death's, I come back to loneliness.

In Death Awakens--what I have so far--there's only two personifications.

I haven't worked that much in DA. I tried to have it be this year's NaNoWriMo before I quickly realized that it was taking away precious time from MG. (And as cruel as it might sound, the elder sister needs my full attention right now.)

But as nothing in DA is planned and as I scribble in sentences the second after they materialize in my mind, I find things I wasn't expecting. Mainly this line, which I wrote early-November:

If Death is a teenage girl, Love is barely out of boyhood.

So far they've only had a few conversations together. He's got a short-attention spam and doesn't have a lick of worry in him. She's got a temper and is impatient and entitled--spoiled little girl. It's too early to tell, but I think I'm finally drawing inspiration from real life people.

Especially because when they talk, they're like siblings. (I knew I'd steal more things from Gaiman. Sorry, Sandman, now my teenage Death has a brother too. Just not officially).

I'm not really sure why I added a personification of Love in the story. Like with Death, I don't think I'm writing him because I have anything worthwhile to say. It's been a month now and I don't have anything worthwhile to say about Death either.

The theme of loneliness is what currently binds them to two mortal characters. I don't think I'll have a personified!Loneliness running around but, although I talk about it a lot, I'm still not actively writing the state of loneliness. I just think about it a lot. As does the cast of Death Awakens. 

It's those two characters--fixated on their own loneliness--that end up obsessing over Death and Love the most.
~Becky

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