Like Waking Up the Dead

Posted: January 8, 2014 by writingsprint in Essay
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

writingMike was going through a box of old memories when he found something that made his heart stop. It was a letter from a pen pal of his that he’d known in his twenties, half a lifetime ago. He recognized it before he’d picked it up. The business envelope was powder blue, edged in broken red and blue stripes, with the words “By Air Mail” and “Par Avion” printed on the front. Little stamps with Queen Elizabeth on them were in the upper right corner. Mike smiled. At the same time, he was living in the past and the present. He remembered the day this letter arrived – spring, and he’d been buried in books for school. He remembered his friend’s accent, how he couldn’t dance at all, and how he’d taken Mike to an English football match.

It was like that. Today I got back inside the clothes, skins and souls of five old and dear friends of mine. Their names are Logan, Marissa, Jon, Rolf, and Alene, and they’re some of the main characters of my first novel. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to rewrite a few essential sections of their story, maybe get a few parts of it illustrated, and then publish it on Kindle.

I was shaking as I started to write the first few words. I literally felt fear as I entered the villain’s mind for the first time in decades. I thought they were dead! Is there some risk in bringing back their soul this way? Creepy. I wondered what an actor would feel like if they read through a role they had once knocked out of the park, but hadn’t done in years. As my fingers tapped away I started to remember who they were and how they felt. It’s not that hard, really. An acting coach in a class I took said that we’re all the prince and the pauper, the queen and the maid, the priest and the criminal. We all have the same feelings and the same potentials. Acting — and writing — is about letting yourself feel those feelings.

Some of their decisions are changing. Some of them are stronger than I wrote them before. Others are more misunderstood.

This is a story that was written in longhand on somewhere over five hundred pieces of paper, not including the blind alleys, drafts and rewrites. It’s going to be finished on a laptop. Their souls, though, are as firey as they were when I first breathed them into life.

Logan and Marissa stood in the doorway between the author’s bedroom and the kitchen. They both folded their arms – one, then the other – and gave the author a long look. “Well? Where have you been?” Logan asked.

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