On my walk this evening, this thought came to me. It came to me and I thought it out; as I swatted away bugs who flew directly for my face, the sun blinding me in my eyes and the spider webs I somehow always walk into and spend the rest of the time imagining spiders are crawling on me. .
Recently, while celebrating a friends birthday she decided she wanted to get a tattoo which everyone else being in the celebrating mood quickly decided to join in.
The question was asked what sort of tattoo would I get? If I got one. Since I had already been the designated party pooper and said I was not going to be getting a tattoo.
Tattoos have never been a yes or no for me. I am indifferent. There has never been anything in my life I have loved enough that I wanted to proclaim my devotion to it by getting it permanently put on my skin.
Interestingly enough they showed me the tattoos they were going to get and they were beautiful enough, interesting enough, but just not quite enough for me.
My friend asked again, “So, if you were ever going to get a tattoo what do you think you would get?”
The answer came out of my mouth before I had fully formed the thought.
“Well, if I was ever going to get a tattoo it could only be words.”
Right then I was reminded; I am a writer. I love words. They mean more to me than I realize. (being a writer is one of those things where you are always like. Am I a writer? Really? Or am I kidding myself.)
It was an automatic answer. A fact. It was the only answer I could give. No particular words were in my mind, but I knew that was what it would be: WORDS.
For me when I am thinking of a story or of characters I long to write about and develop, it always begins with a conversation.
It is normally not a formal introduction of the characters. A plot point. A surprise. It is an explosive argument. A revelation. Or the first time the characters are being honest with themselves. (Always one for the theatrics.)
Characters are who they are when they are most honest with themselves. Also, when the pressure is on.
Much like in real life this is the case, we hide behind pleasantries and manners but when it comes down to it, when the pressure is on we see who we really are.
We are still beautiful, because we are real.
When someone loves me at my worst, when I feel like I am at that moment my utmost unlovable. And they stay and still choose me. It means something. It is powerful. Meaningful.
Words are extremely powerful; we know this. I even wrote an entire blog post about this. Thumper’s Words of Wisdom
We have to stay nice things to ourselves and others.
When someone is told good or bad things about themselves over and over they begin to believe them.
Words are powerful. They are small but they carry a punch. Rather it be someone telling you they love you, they hate you or they forgive you. The words touch you. Change you. Stay with you.
How important are words? And what a significant place they play in your writing. Choose which ones truly describe the way your characters feel, their deep feelings, the ones we as mere mortals never speak. For fear of rejection, shame, being despised or hated. Let your character have the courage to say things you would only dare to think in real life.
For each story I write, I have entire word documents filled with quotes and the initials of the characters after the quote. No indication of where it is in the story or who they are talking to or if they are only speaking it to themselves.
Yet, from that one quote, I always know where they are and what emotion they are feeling.
And a few of the quotes.
“Do you believe we are destined for good or bad? Do you believe we can change? Will I always be bad, will I always be drawn to be the villain?”SB
“Kiss me now or kiss me never.” AJ
“Don’t be a hero. Heroes never win.” SH
“What if I am only a fish, but I keep trying to fly.” JS
“You may not get your happily ever after, but your dreams can still come true.” BR
If I did indeed choose to permanently ink my body forever, it would be a quote and because I am a narcissist, it would be one of my character’s words.
Something about Peter Pan.
Pan represents so many things to me, and it is a hopeful place for my life.
Never to grow up.
Always to remember an author who put everything his imagination had into one story and it made perfect sense. A fantasy land filled with: flying, lost boys, pirates, fairies, Indians, mermaids, a crock with a clock in his insides, the list never ends. . . .
When you go in the tattoo parlor next, think about what this tattoo means to you and if it has a good story. Likely, you will have to tell the story a few times, whenever people see it and ask the questions. At least I know I will ask the questions. 🙂