Thursday, November 5, 2009

Her Is Me or Finding Depth In Ourselves and In Our Characters

Do any of you read the Nie Nie Dialogues?  If not then you really should.  Read todays posting - you can find it here.  Go ahead I'll wait...

Did you read it?  Heartbreaking, right?  What kind of a person would say such a thing?

If you don't already know, Stephanie Nielson is a young mother who kept up a charming blog about her family and life.  In 2008 Stephanie and her husband Christian (love that name, can you guess why?)  were in a plane crash.  They both suffered severe burns all over their body - Stephanie more than Christian.
Her blog postings are the most inspiring things I've read.  I eat them up everyday. 

This is Stephanie before the accident.

Beautiful yes?  I think so.
Did she have depth? Probably

For a long time Stephanie would not post pictures of herself post burning.  Finally she was brave enough to do it.

This is the first picture that Stephanie posted of herself after the accident.

Beautiful yes? I absolutely think so.
Does she have depth?  Loads and Loads.

Now I have not been burned and my pitiful trials are no where near what Stephanie's are, but I too don't like to post pictures of myself.  I have struggled with weight all my life.  There have been times where I have been thin and I thought I looked pretty good.

This was me in college.

Beautiful, yes? Maybe.
Did I have depth? A bit.

Stephanie struggles everyday with how she looks.  So do I.   In my mind I still look like that picture above.   Then I look in the mirror or I catch a glimpse of myself reflected in a window as I pass by.  Everytime I'm shocked.  The image in my mind and the image reflected back at me don't match.  When I come face to face with the reality I want to run away and hide.   Today when I read Stephanie's post I realized what a coward I am.   She is putting her picture out there for everyone to see and she is praying hard every day to be happy with who she is now.  So, if Stephanie can do it,  so can I.

 This is me now.

Beautiful, yes? Umm.
Do I have depth? More now than before.

I don't like to give writing advice, because really - what do I know? But I do know what I like to read.  I like books with characters who inspire me.  The main character of the book I'm writing is a person who once was beautiful and her family was wealthy, but she had very little depth.  Later her family loses their fortune and she loses her beauty.  Do those trials give her depth?

I'm not trying to suggest that you or your characters need to become ugly to have depth.  But just like us, it's not the trials that our characters face that gives them depth.  It's the way they deal with those trials and everyone's trials are different.  Do your characters become better people because of their trials. Are they inspiring?

Depth and Inspiration.  This is what keeps me turning the pages.  It's what makes me want to read a book over and over again.

Do you feel the same way?  In what ways are you giving depth to your characters? 


Juju at Tales of said...

Oh dear God.
Poor sweet girl.

Excellent points about writing!

Juju at Tales of said...

I just wanted to say:
Thanks for posting this.
Your post has reminded me of what is important.
It's nice to be reminded of that from time to time.
God bless Stephanie.

Your beautiful! :)

Juju at Tales of said...

Her blog made me cry

I just finished The Dresskeeper and I LOVED that she was this amazing character who wasn't pretty.

Wendy Sparrow said...

I'm planning on following her blog. That is so heartbreaking.

Some people have a very small window for "beautiful" but I really try to make my window in my novels a giant picture window. It doesn't matter if you're beautiful to everyone if you're beautiful to someone.

Mary said...

Wow Juju three comments. You must have felt super inspired. Nie Nie is awesome! and Thank you.

Wendy- you're so right. What the world thinks doesn't matter.