I realised something today. One of my main characters is influencing my life.
I write fiction. I make stuff. I make people up. My main character in The Antics of Evangeline series is Evangeline. She’s a busy-body feisty teen in an action-adventure series, solving mysteries and kicking derriere.
In the process of writing an action-adventure story, I have to put Evangeline in the centre of the action all the time, otherwise it’s rather dull. No one wants to read about a character who sits back on the couch in their pajamas and binge watches TV (or sits in the parlour and embroiders in Evangeline’s context). Where’s the excitement in that?
When Evangeline sees something wrong or something interesting, she acts. She steps in. She sticks her nose in. She take risks. Often without thinking. A number of times Evangeline has thought ‘someone should do something about that’ whether it involves mummies or pickpockets or bunyips. And when no one else steps forward, it’s time for Evangeline to get amongst it.
Evangeline is not me. I would be lying if I said she was autobiographical. I’m not the first person to get involved or speak out. I’ve never been the activist type or moral crusader. I wish I was more like Evangeline.
While Evangeline is not me, I often say the same thing to myself ‘someone should do something about xxx’ but then I do nothing. This is quite pathetic, expecting other people to step up and take action. It makes me an audience member in my own life, expecting other people to do the hard work. But now I have Evangeline, my own character, is in the back of my head calling me a ‘wuss’. Although Evangeline wouldn’t say ‘wuss’. She’d say something like ‘milksop’. But Mei totally would.
My own fictional character is calling me out on my behaviour. Come on Madeleine. Do something then. Get up. Act. Be the main character in your own story. Speak up. Give money. Give time. Help.
My most recent example of ‘someone should do something about that’ is podcasting. (Bear with me, I know this isn’t exactly earth-shattering compared to all the horrendous things going on in the world.) I listen to a lot of podcasts and they are mostly hosted by male Americans (with exceptions – Joanna Penn, Lindsay Buroker, Valerie Khoo, Sarah Fragoso). I wonder to myself, where are the female voices here? I don’t want to hear the opinions of more men. Someone should do something about this. There should be more women doing podcasts. Perhaps that someone should be me.
Evangeline has inspired me and I’m putting my idea out here on the internet, making a commitment so I have to do something. Later in 2017, I’m launching a podcast on writing. The focus is how improve your/my writing by seeking wisdom from other authors. Not matter what stage you’re at as a writer, there’s tips, tricks, techniques you can teach others. My plan is rather selfish. This is a way I can ask all my own questions and get tips on how to improve my work, but I’ll be sharing the information with the rest of the world.
Stay tuned for more developments throughout the year. And if you’re a writer who’d like to be interviewed or if you’ve got an idea for a catchy title, please get in touch.
I would never have thought my own character would end up motivating me…