Thursday, January 8, 2015

Character Profile - Rachel from Sharing Strength

I have taken some time off from my writing endeavors recently. Every year that I have participated in Nanowrimo I have proudly completed the novel claiming the winner certificate, yet immediately following this high I go through a phase where I struggle to focus on anything else. I want to edit and rewrite the completed book but I am still so close to the project I know I need time to gain some objectivity. Therefore I end up in a lull where the characters from the last book are still talking and the new ones are being drowned out.

In the case of Sharing Strength there are also additional reasons I have struggled to get back into the story. For the first time as I was writing a book I found myself jumping around to different scenes instead of writing straight through from beginning to end. As a result of this jumping around I now find myself filling in the gaps as I link the pieces previously written.

Some of the characters have a much more difficult time dealing with their situations and Rachel is one of them. Once she was a state ranked swimmer planning to attend a christian college on a scholarship for the sport. She was offered scholarships from several universities but being from a highly religious family it was never presented as an option that she would go to a public college. 

She always made sure to be the responsible one among her friends, never dabbled in drugs or took a drink. She was the model daughter, student and friend. It was because of this sense of responsibility that she found herself in a terrible situation one night. It was well known what a good girl she was and there were several theories that deep down she had a rebellious side dying to escape. She was however genuinely a good girl and naive to a fault.

She was at a party with some friends when a boy she barely knew asked for a ride home. He had come with friends but they were all drunk and couldn't drive, he himself appeared to be quite intoxicated so she agreed in order to keep him from attempting to get home in some unsafe manner. He insisted on giving her gas money even when she said it wasn't necessary and invited her in to grab the cash.

Once she was inside though he overpowered her and forced her down to his bedroom. She fought but he was stronger and ended getting exactly what he wanted. He held her down on the floor and she cried the entire time lit by the glow of the fish tank he had along on wall of his room. She ran out as soon as he released her and went straight home intent on calling the police and telling her parents what happened. But by the time she arrived it was after midnight and she was so ashamed she just wanted to hide away. 

She faked being sick to stay home from school on Monday hiding in her room but when her best friend came over to drop off her homework she told her parents all about the rumors going around school that she had hooked up with the boy from the party. Appalled her parents chastised her refusing to give her a chance to explain her side. Returning to school she was ridiculed, called names and constantly harassed. The only help she found was in the support group and Jasmine was the only person she believed she could open up to causing them to become very close.

As I write this story I am currently at a scene that bonds the two girls and cements their friendship. It is very difficult though as I am put into a situation where I have to relive my own personal trauma as well as make her go through it again. I have to play both roles of the girl hurting and the one attempting to step up on her behalf.

I wonder do any of my other writer friends find themselves in conflicting roles like this when creating scenes?

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