I guess it started when I began writing my novel. I almost tweeted about it, actually. “I’m going to write a novel to help cope with the feelings I have for a boy.” I deleted it immediately, due to the amount of embarrassment I felt for myself in the dreadful milliseconds the thought was a fully constructed sentence in my mind.
Somehow the idea for the novel derived from the entirety of this man. He mentioned something to me once in a text message, and without noticing exactly what I was doing, I was taking his small notion and turning it into an entire novel. I turned his 20 words into approximately 100,000 in no time, creating a lovely world for us to sink into cozily where no one could disturb us. It was nice at first, as all escapes are, but the addiction comes soon after.
The world became a lovely place to settle. Once the plot was constructed, and the setting was generalized enough to find my city somewhere in the pages, well, then all I had left were the characters that were so easily created. If all else failed that day, I had my writing to be with. And something about it always feels real; you can feel the emotion, the integrity, the love, the moments, even if they’re just “made up.”
This is how writers go crazy. Our fictional characters are not fictional, and I call bullshit to anyone who claims they actually created a character out of thin air. We can’t draw lines as writers. We melt our fictional worlds with our reality and get lost in a sort of writer’s purgatory, and that’s why we get so hurt by who we love. It’s always more to us.
Remember that time in the coffee shop? That’s four pages, three years of thought, 1,458 words. Remember that time we kissed on the bed when we were both really drunk at that party? That’s eight pages, seven years of thought, more words than I can count.
So there you can find yourself, in my countless words and countless word documents, young and thriving in my memories where I can potentially keep you forever. The writing remains to stem from somewhere deeper than fiction.