Sun-Walking, Writing!

Postponing the Inevitable

So in my life, I either run from endings or I put them off. Usually with people, I run from them. With things — creative things — I tend to put them off. I remember taking forever reading the last chapter of “Immortal Rain.” I have a lot of good drawings that haven’t been shaded or completed because I put them off.

And now I’m so close to the conclusion of a project I’ve been working on for 3 years, and I am trying to force myself to write this last scene but I back away from it every few paragraphs. This story was started in November 2010 and it suffered in the shadow of “Redefining Evil,” which I spent most of 2011 working on instead of anything else. Then, when I was originally writing the last part, “Sky-Dancing,” I stopped abruptly at the same scene which I am now wading through, determined to finish this before I start work next week.

“Sun-Walking” (I think I’m going to call it “The Sun-Walker,” because you’ll never be sure who it’s talking about…if not, I’m going to keep it as “Sun-Walking” because that does pertain to all three parts) has been a really exciting project for me that started as a diatribe against patriarchy in response to Bethany and in response to OH MY GOD PARTHIV hahahahaha that roommate I had for two months my sophomore year (I just found a blog entry about that part). I described it as a girl who finds her “something” instead of her “someone” and overall that has definitely stayed true as the story progresses. Her relationship with Lee is definitely present, but her growth is much more important, particularly where it pertains to her reconciliation with her homeland. Ultimately, Levi’s most important feature is that he, like Lucienne, had to face a past he’d very thoroughly locked away when he went home to Agaar — just as Lucienne was forced to face her (much more recent) injuries inflicted upon her by the society which raised her. Over the last three years, I’ve had to work really hard to tune into her character, as my other long projects either had female characters I hated or were mostly male casts. Plus, following the journey of a character whose perceptions and attitudes change is actually somewhat challenging. I don’t think I’d have been able to write the middle part, when Lucienne goes to Agaar, if I hadn’t have traveled to New Zealand myself. Not only did Agaar end up being heavily influenced by NZ, but I understood better what Lucienne would feel being in a brand new world, and being absorbed into someone else’s world.

Yesterday, I was thinking how even though this is supposed to be a story about a woman finding her own power, the cast was, again, predominantly male. Though I improved the state of the few females (Find/Tarisi, Nasrin, Malaya/Anita/Uyen) with my latest revisions, I was writing Lucienne’s scene with Johanna Tirra when it struck me that there was still something missing in the women. And then after I’d drawn a now-obsolete picture of Lucienne, Levi, and his then-brother Isaac (Micah), it hit me: IF LEVI HAD A SISTER…
And so I decided to turn Isaac into Elizabeth, without touching any of her dialogue, or actions, or attitude. Suddenly Wind-Running was laced with a dynamic female to counter what Lucienne knew women to be like. Elizabeth is fiercely independent, but her independence is definitely something she had to fight for. She was injured by losing her father and then her brother, and her mother chose her career over remaining close (Nasrin is a full-fledged World-Seeker), so Elizabeth needed to find work and learn to fix cars and become strong physically and emotionally. She’s absolutely got a fantastic vulnerable side, which is partially revealed through her art. Her relationship with Lucienne, though it is literally not at all changed from when “she” was “Isaac”, is now fabulous in that it’s not too tender but it’s definitely affectionate. Because all I changed was her gender, it stays essentially a non-issue because I kind of learned from traveling that you don’t really ever expect things to be the way that you knew them to be, so Lucy would have been more likely to take Elizabeth in stride rather than being shocked by her.

(Note for future reference: I am watching Hercules to see him fight that serpent dragon thing with the multiple heads, because it’s the closest thing I could think of besides the obvious How to Train Your Dragon scene at the end, as far as helping me write Idalia’s final scene [edit] this scene was WAY MORE DEPRESSING to write than that scene in Hercules was)


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