Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Finding my Inner Faldur
Okay, I lied in my last post. I am going write about writing today.
This weekend, we watched the movie Nim's Island, in which an adventure writer has to overcome her own fears to help a little girl who thinks she is the heroic character she writes about in her books.
One of the scary things about the movie... because it hit home... was the two-way dialogues that occur between the fictional hero and the writer, played by Jodie Foster. (Incidentally, I adore Jodie Foster and have been told on more than one occastion that I look like her. :Grin: ) I haven't quite acquired that level of schizophrenia in my writing life, but I can see it as a distinct possibility in my future.
So who is Faldur? He's the male protagonist of my book. The thing that has been bothering me the past few weeks, is that getting inside Faldur's head is making me uncomfortable with myself. You see, he is one of those disciplined, alert, self-controlled people who does everything with such annoying perfection, that it makes the heroine want to punch him in the nose just to see if he'd say "Ow." He is everything I'm not: athletic, self-disciplined, discreet, used to sleeping outside... you get the picture. He can eat anything he wants, because he burns up so many calories hunting down bad guys, slaying evil creatures, and being cold, hungry, uncomfortable and wet. He's attuned to every facet of his surroundings and always knows the right thing to do. He's the kind of guy everyone turns to in a crisis, and whom they definitely want on their team.
And he does all this without magic. Well, maybe just a little.
Anyway, I find myself thinking at times... Faldur wouldn't be here blogging and eating popcorn when there is work to be done. Faldur wouldn't have eaten that chocolate bar. Faldur would have exercised for at least an hour today. Faldur would not have hit the snooze button eight times.
My life is turning into WWFD: What would Faldur do?
The thing that is so troublesome about this is that I know, deep down, that I could be that way if I only tried. I am better than this sloppy person I have become. Okay... that I've always been. Part of this is due to my messy creative side, which I have gladly embraced, but there are limits to everything. At least, that's what Faldur would say.
True, Faldur has his shortcomings. He has spent so much time with his fellow Rangers and his horse, that he tends to be a dry stick in company. He doesn't like opening up to people, let alone admitting he might actually care for them. He's so out of touch with his emotions that he doesn't realize he's in love with the heroine, although it's perfectly plain to everyone else. And of course, he has the benefit of a clear purpose in life: Defend the border. Serve the King. Protect his men. That's it. If he ever became a civilian he would, like many soldiers, be at a complete loss for a while. And he never has to worry about domestic problems. His horse is his family. For now, anyway.
So, I can't say I really want to be him, but I would like to be like him in certain ways. And, I wouldn't mind sleeping outside once in a while either. Camping is fun. "Where are the outlets, Mr. Ranger?"
P.S. Let me try to clarify this a bit, because I'm afraid I gave the wrong impression of my hero, whom I really admire. The heroine, Marenya, is pretty ticked off with him in the beginning of the book for being so perfect and so indifferent to her. But he is actually a very complex person. Like many people who are good at what they do, he makes it look very easy when in fact he has worked very hard to hone his skills and is constantly reassessing each situation, as well as himself.
As well, he has paid a high personal price for his commitment to duty. He has given up any idea of a personal life because he doesn't want to leave a widow behind some day when he finally comes to that point where he makes an error in judgement, or is simply outmatched. As she moves out of her safe, familiar environment and is drawn into the dangerous world he lives in every day, she comes to appreciate him more and more.
What I envy about this character is his focus and discipline. It makes me very aware of my lack of both. What I have to face, though, is that in order to know this character as intimately as I do, there must be some of those qualities in me that are yet undeveloped. That is the challenge I am facing for myself... finding my inner Faldur.
1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.