Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Bed

"...sleeps content in her lover's arms..."

I have this character, Hannah. I haven't done much with her lately, though I used to write for her all the time. Like all good fantasy characters, she's somewhat superhuman (outsized strength and endurance, pyrokinetic, only needs 3 hours of sleep each night, has no sense of fear for herself) and tragically flawed (raised an orphan, the be-all end-all goal for her has always been to have a home and family.)

Hannah's been through the mill, run the gauntlet, birthed, married, loved, lost, died, resurrected and walked fearlessly into the mouth of hell. Gods love her, she's resilient.

Her most recent adventures have resulted in a tragedy that's left her hovering on the brink of madness: the deaths of her children, the love of her life and many of her closest friends, all at the hand of one man; all because she loved them, and he was trying to crush her. Those few friends that remain have mostly forsaken her for their own pursuits.

Hannah can't sleep. Plagued with nightmares since her teens, sleep has been a problem for her since her creation. But now, with the losses and crushing sense of responsibility weighing on her, even the idea of sleep is terrifying; a confounding idea for a fearless woman.

She drinks. Frequently and heavily. She throws herself into any work she can find to keep her mind and body busy, and keeps awake for days on end before exhaustion claims her and she falls asleep where she stands. When she wakes, it's with a sense of overpowering guilt.

A bed, for Hannah, is a reminder of what she lost. Her love, her family, a sense of belonging and security, the ability to sleep, content, knowing those she loved were near and safe.

There's a million other ideas I could have used for "bed." All of them closer to the theme and much less convoluted. But the line "...sleeps content in her lover's arms..." keeps coming back to me as I puzzle over what to do with Hannah. Maybe finally putting it in print will let me focus on the means to the goal. Of any character I've written, she most deserves a happy ending.

17 comments:

  1. I'd love to find out more about Hannah.. she sounds like a true heroine. Great take on the SS.

    Thanks for commenting also!

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  2. i love it when our characters become so real we see them as real people... fascinating post - can't wait to read more :-)
    sx

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  3. Here's hoping Hannah gets that happy ending, a warm bed and a warm pair of arms in which to lie.
    And thanks for checking out my post!

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  4. Great twist on the bed prompt. I want to know more about the poor set-upon Hannah, who can't escape her woes even in sleep.

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  5. now you have me intrigued...can't wait to hear more! (just so it doesn't keep me awake at night :-)

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  6. Sometimes the happy ending is not getting what you thought you wanted but finding satisfaction in what you can get. Hmm. I'm so glad to hear other writers have characters emerging as large as life.

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  7. my goodness gracious, it sounds like Hannah needs some Ambien, poor thing. what an interesting post about an interesting character.

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  8. What a great post, makes me want to know what happens to her...will you keep us posted?

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  9. Wow, this is a fascinating character you've drawn. I'm with the others - keep me posted! (and yes, like Jemima said so wisely, think about letting her find contentment in what she has. It would be a strong ending which avoids sentimentality for such an unconventional character :-)) Good luck in whatever you decide!

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  10. Would love to hear how Hannah finally gets her rest - sounds like she deserves a break! :) Let us know where we can find her!

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  11. Love the post. I'm now curious about Hannah's fate. Hope to read more about it on subsequent posts.

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  12. I am so curious now as to why the guy wanted to hurt Hannah by killing her loved ones...

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  13. Hummm, where can I read more about Hannah?

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  14. Hannah's bits and pieces got a lot more feedback than I expected. All appreciated!

    To answer some of the questions, and offer up some pretty lame-ass excuses...

    Hannah's a roleplaying character. Her incarnation is temporal, which is to say, I game her, but don't retain the written record of her adventures. All I have are two or three vignettes I wrote along the way, when the mood was upon.

    I wouldn't, couldn't write a novel about Hannah. This is simply because, as a role-playing character, much of her story is the result of collaborative work with several other people. To novelize it would be impolite at best, stealing at worst. The few vignettes I do have, however, are my work entirely.

    The vignette of her time in a prison cell was written quite a while ago. Months at least, maybe a year or more. Having suffered through a hard-drive crash in the past, I wanted these little vignettes somewhere relatively safe. Thank the good Lord for my friend, the e-packrat, who had copies of these to send to me.

    The Sunday Scribblings prompt worked. Since I got those simple words in print, I haven't had that stubborn block for her. It's pulled her out of the ether so I can look at her objectively.

    Hannah's still an active character, so it's hard to say just where she'll end up. Again, the collaborative effort. When it's time to finally put her down, I'm sure it'll be with a sense of regret and satisfaction. Until then, she is and has been a source of entertainment and aggravation. Like any good fictional character.

    I'll probably post a character history one of these days. Just so I have it somewhere relatively safe. Twenty years from now I can look back and say "Wow. That was time well-spent."

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  15. Wow! This was sad...

    But it sounds interesting, that you continue with one role/story.

    :)

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  16. A fascinating character, whose strength has been derived from brutal circumstances. Very cool...

    John.

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  17. Your character sounds fascinating. And how terrific for you that the prompt unlocked more of her. Hope you'll share!

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